Friday, December 20, 2013

Meditation: Brood of Vipers

I'm on a roll tonight, LORD. Baby needs new shoes.

Jesus called the Pharisees and Sadducees a "brood of vipers." Why?

Because He loves us, and
Because we are.

A healer, to heal, doesn't say: "it's okay, everything will be fine" when you have cancer. No: it's "You have cancer. We need to operate, now, to remove the tumor. Then we have a strict regimen of chemotherapy to ensure the cancer is removed and stays in remission. That's what a healer says to heal. Jesus didn't say "Everything is good; it's okay, keep doing what you are doing, and I'm sure it'll turn out okay in the end." No. He said we will be separated, wheat from chaff, and we will be cast into the fires of Gehenna, the trash pit fire that burns without end, where we will wail and gnash our teeth. He also told us the cure in the Ten Commandments and then the Beatitudes. And we still don't get it. He had to scold His own disciples: 'Unless you become like these [a little child], you will not enter the kingdom of heaven."

And we still don't get it.

Jesus loves us, and He wants us to be happy, and we can't be happen when we hurt each other and ourselves.

I had a conversation totday with Mr. Sh. He told me that back in India, a family named their son 'Satan.' He asked me, 'Have you ever seen an exorcism?' I said, 'No.' I asked him if he knew why Satan wasn't present in the world as before with possessions and the like. He said, 'no.' I said that it was because, now, Satan doesn't need to be present in the world anymore. We, by ourselves, in all the evil we do today, are going straight down the path to hell without any prompting from him. And we call evil 'good': 'my preferences,' 'my rights,' 'a woman's choice,' 'me-time,' 'my needs,' 'it doesn't hurt anybody.'

All this.

And Jesus called the Pharisees and Sadducees a "Brood of Vipers" because they were doing what they thought was good and right: leading the Jews through a difficult Roman occupancy.

What would Jesus say to us, today?

Save us, LORD, from the Evil One. Save us, LORD, from ourselves.

I ask this in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Meditation: Cast your worry on Him because He loves you, 1 Peter 5:7

So, Mr. Sh. and I were walking along during lunch break, and he asked me if I were worried about losing my job.

"No," I said, "not really. This is God's problem, so I told Him to fix it, or else I'll just have to go up to heaven and kick His ..." Yeah. That.

Mr. Sh. burst out laughing at my effrontery to God, but I see it differently. I see it like this.

God is bigger than the Boogie man. God is bigger than my problems. God is bigger than me.

Jesus told me (personally) not to worry about what the morrow will bring, what I shall eat, what clothes I shall wear. God cares about every bird that falls from the sky, and so, would He not care for me so much more, His child?

So, I can take Jesus at His word (for He is The Word), or I can solve all my problems on my own, because I'm bigger than God, and I don't need God in my life to solve my problems, nor to help me solve my problems, or anything. God's up there, and He's not welcome, not allowed down here anymore.

That's effrontery.

That we say: God is fine enough on His own, or He doesn't exist (only God can say that), or He is not allowed in our affairs and in our concerns.

Like we can put boundaries around Him? And we're fine with that?

No, it's my respect for God that has me dare to say: "Hey, look, God! We got a family to feed here and it's frikken Christmas, now get to work, 'cause Thine be the Glory."

You want proof?

Jacob didn't serve the Angel tea and crumpets. He wrestled with him all night long, and only quit after the Angel broke his leg, and because Jacob had the gumption to do this, to wrestle with God's messenger (angel), the, okay, get this: the angel blessed him!

God has blessed me with so much for so long, and I know one thing about myself: I'm really good at writing code, but I suck at just about everything else, and if I don't ask for, no: demand, God's help, then I will royally screw it up, and 'it' is not just me and my life, but so many other people's lives I affect.

AND I'm totally fine with getting on my knees and begging.

God, please, please, please, please, please, please, please! help me. I need to be all the things You need me to be, and I don't have the strength to do this on my own. I need to be a daddy my little girls faces shine when they see me. I need to be a rock of tenderness my wife can have not one question in her mind about, no: that she can lean on, trust, and know that she can rely on me to screw up, but to get up again, and try again, and fail again, and keep fighting, every day, for her, for my little girls, for ... for everything, for our happiness.

And our hearts are restless until they rest in You.

I rest my heart in You, LORD. Take my heart, set it ablaze, enkindling it with the fire of the Holy Spirit, and let's rock this town and this Christmas, huh, LORD?

I ask this in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What I Got for Christmas: Fired

Dear LORD,

Thank You for today.

So. I got fired Monday, me, along with nearly everyone else on my contract, and not only me, and my fellow contractors, but also across the board: other companies working on this and other projects all were told we are done.

Mr. Sh. asked me how I feel about all this, and at that time I had no answer, but now, thinking about it, dwelling on it, I'm angry, sad, and bitter. Just before Christmas is when this company lets go of all these people? Advent is supposed to be the time of preparing for Your coming, not for updating my resume and looking for a contract and negotiating a price. Don't these decision-makers realize the damage they have done to not just "contractors" but to families? And on Christmas?

Yeah: angry, sad, and bitter.

But.

Either You are LORD of all, or You are not.

And either I accept this, and accept that You are, or I do not.

Come, LORD, into my resentful heart, and heal it.

I ask this in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My Heart for People


יח  כִּי בְּרֹב חָכְמָה, רָב-כָּעַס; וְיוֹסִיף דַּעַת, יוֹסִיף מַכְאוֹב.

18 For in much wisdom is much vexation; and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow. 

Dear LORD,

Thank You for today. Just a few more short weeks until Christ Mass. Really, the days are flying and Advent will be over before it's even started to take root in my heart. Not Your fault; it's mine. Convert my rootless heart, LORD. Lift my concerns above myself and how I look to others and let me look upon Thy Precious Face, and not die, but live, abiding in Thee. Help me to help others. Let me not be a troublesome pain and disappointment ot others, but a guide and a help. Open my closed heart so that others may see me for what I am, unworthy, unwilling, selfish and spiteful, but in all that, a person who wants to do good and want sot avoid the bad.

Work has been hard: issues in the code create more issues, and it feels like I'm not making progress; it feels like I'm making regress. And all the while I have tow other developers waiting on my work completion so they can get started with theirs. Annoying and frustrating for them and for me, for me: that they don't start with the interfaces I've provided, but the lesson for me is that not everyone is like me nor does what I want them to do, and they are good, beautiful and perfect in Your Eyes.

So, that's work, but that's just work, no more, no less than my vocation while here and alive on this Earth.

Then, but now, there is choir. Thank You for making me a help there. Thank You for the gratitude of the men and of the choir director. And I hate it. I hate that I'm liked by the older people and mistrusted by the younger people. 

Or is that just my snap judgment? 

At work and at choir, I have to be with people I don't know nor love, and I have to function, and do the best I can, regardless of their thoughts and feelings, and regardless of mine. This Christ Mass, this Liturgical New Year, turn my thoughts and feelings to You, so that I may know good, and do good.

I ask this in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

"Good Game!"



Dear LORD,

Thank You for today. Thank You for showing me something today. Thank You for showing me that, yes, hard work, teamwork, coordination, and skill all pay off, and to the victor goes the spoils. But thank You for showing me also, that never giving up wins, too. That, in defeat, it is possible to hold your head high, not to be cowed, but to fight on, and to lose, but to have that last huzzah.

The Caps lost to the NC Hurricanes 1-4 tonight, but I came away from that game happy, because in my book, the Caps weren't losers. They lost, but they played all out to the end, against a much better team, and scored that third period goal that let them know that they were still in the game. Most people quit on the Caps; left early. I didn't. I stayed on, cheering their good plays to the end.

LORD, let me stay in the game to the end, fighting the good fight, like our Caps, tonight.

I ask this in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving prayer

"Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God hath already accepted thy works."

לֵךְ אֱכֹל בְּשִׂמְחָה לַחְמֶךָ, וּשְׁתֵה בְלֶב-טוֹב יֵינֶךָ:  כִּי כְבָר, רָצָה הָאֱלֹהִים אֶת-מַעֲשֶׂיךָ.

Ecclesiastes 9:7

Dear LORD,

Thank You for today. It's the Thanksgiving eve! Way back when, the Pilgrims had a hard, hard life with so much lost, but they paused and gave thanks to You for all the blessings You rained down on them. Back in Jamestown, so long ago, they started every day with prayer and worship with the Ten Commandments posted prominently in front of them to guide their way in the New World. Today, the people turn to You, again and again, in prayer and supplication.

Dear LORD, hear our prayers, grant us Your Grace. Give us wisdom and understanding. Give us peace and unity. Give us Your Love and protection. Comfort those who need it and strenghthen those who need to be strong today.

Thanksgiving eve: I have much to be thankful for. I give You thanks, o Lord, for my family: my kind, understanding, wise, compassionate, beautiful and holy wife, my two daughters, two diamonds, polished and smooth, sweet and sprightly, obedient and joyful. I give thanks for my job: my managers who are tolerant and patient and driven, my coworkers who are hard-working and accepting, my customers who enjoy working alongside us and are pleased with our efforts. I give thanks for my things: my cars that work, day after day, to get me to my job and my family to their activities, my house that provides shelter, heat, water, protection.

So, so much I am thankful for, LORD, and I thank You in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen.


A NATIONAL THANKSGIVING
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and
Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness”:
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the Beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplication to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our national government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best. Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, AD 1789 George Washington

— quoted verbatim from a Pilgrim's mind blog

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Gimme Jesus


Dear LORD,

Thank You for this day, this inbetween time but between what and what? Somehow today feels significant, absolutely vital, like an empty page that needs to be filled with the stories of our lives. Is this our time and our lives? Do You look at the blank page of history, waiting to see what we write in it, how we fill it?

Today was special. Thank You for it. Thank You for the special dinner commerating all the hard work my wife has done in the Filipino ministry. Thank You for letting us see the faith of Your people that even in the flood where thousands have died, they turn to You, they run to You, filling Your churches to praise You, to thank You, to ask for Yourhelp, and in asking, Your help has come: a miracle. Your Help has come through the action of nations uniting to help those in need. Your help has come from the action of two little girls who give up their allowance, their convenience and comfort, so that their money can go to those who need it now.  From Your Bounty comes Your Aid.

LORD, you are bountiful and You are generous. Show us Your boundless and generous Love always. In the storms that buffet and kill us, be there for us, be our life and our protection, our light and our guide, our hope and our salvation. Life our physical concerns, our mortal hopes and concerns to You. Bless them and make them Holy.

I ask all these things in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

DADDY!


Dear LORD ... DADDY!

I saw a note today on our fridge: "Mama, can I have the iPod. For Listening. Please." and it touched my heart. 



How easily I am persuaded to say "Yes!" — and eagerly — to my daughters! Is it like that with You? Are You waiting, with breath held, for me to ask so You may say "Yes" and say it eagerly and shower me with the superabundance of Your blessings?

I write on a blank page: "This page intentionally left blank." Why are pages left blank? Ary they there, not by our design, but by Yours, so that they may be filled by the outpouring of our hearts? Are they intentionally blank so we many see the silence of them and give You the space for You to be You?

Children are always asking permission of their mothers, and Mothers are always saying "no." Why is that? And children love their mothers more tha anything.  But children know, when they want to hear "Yes" they need only ask their fathers. When do we forget that, LORD, and why? Is that why You want us to be unto like little children? So that we may ask and so that You may say "Yes" and so we may play with each other and be happy and You may watch us, the proud Papa, proud that we are who we are, in Your Image and Likeness, and that we're pretty good kids, considering. All we need to do is to remember that and be safe as we play under Your Loving Protection.

O Happy Fault! Why did Adam ever bite into that apple? Is it because people are people and must find their own way? Please help us find our way back to you, LORD.

I ask this in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Being Still

Dear LORD,

Thank You for today, today in which I can honor You. This is my joy, that I may sit here and pray before You. Here, it is simple, but outside it is not so easy. Is this my time of Peace? Should I be still now and know that You are God? But I find myself scared, angry and bitter. So much for being still. Is this, then the lesson I should be learning? Or, is this the time to plant, now, to, in this time of preparation, to work, and to work hard, to plant, now, so that in this time of the harvest I am blessed, superabundantly, with Your Graces? Is this the time, now, to be both and to do both? To be still, and calm, and know that You are God, and, at the same time, to answer Your Call and go out to the fields, and to work like never before, because the work is required and the workmen are few?

So hard, outside, but so simple: Mother Teresa knew what to do, and she did it. St. Pop John Paul II knew what to do, and he did it, and he had fun with his work, too. My Nana knew what to do, and she did it, every day of her life. All thoughtful people, but they didn't let their thoughts get in the way of what needed to be done, and not what they wanted to do, but what you did and what was in Your Plan. They submitted themselves wholly to Your Will, Your Plan, and they gave their time and their efforts to what was needed and didn't regard what they wanted. And look what they did!

Is now my time, LORD, to do Your Will?

I ask this in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Supplications


Dear LORD,

So many prayers offered to You, LORD, from so many faithful.  It gives me hope and consolation reading through this notebook to see so many put their faith and theirs fears in You. Thank You for this gift, LORD, of the Adoration Chapel, that we may all come to You and get some time aside to think, to fast, and to pray, to hope and to dream, to plan and to retrench.

Thank You, LORD, for today. Thank You for another good day at work and for the good interaction with coworkers. Please help me to be productive and helpful. Please allow the work I am doing to be fruitful. Please continue to nurture a cordial relationship with my coworkers. Please allow me to spend time with my family. Help me to grow closer to them. Help me to be a good husband and father; someone who my children are proud to have as a father and help to be a good friend to my wife: devoted and considerate, caring.

Dear LORD, we need Your help in our fianances. Please help us to be frugal and help us to be prosperous. LORD, please help me with my writing. Please help it to touch lives of the readers. Guide me so that I may write and write rightly. Please grant us success in our business endeavors.

Thank you, LORD, for the Adorers, so steadfast, devoted, and true . I pray for them. Please be with us all as we go through our days.

I ask this in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

SLEEEEEEPPPY!

Okay, so, LORD, you see how I hand-wrote out this prayer?

Yes, I'm sleepy. But that's okay. That's a miracle, in fact, that we get the chance to start over again, every day.

So. My prayer. My sleepy prayer.

Dear LORD,

Thank You for today. Thank You for keeping my daughter in your care, helping her to be well through her sickness. Thank You for the pleasant visit of Tito Oscar and Tita Lilia. Please grant them safe travel home. Thank You, as Tita Lilia says, for granting me a family that are studious, courteous, helpful in domestic duties, pleasant, smart, and fun-loving. You have given me gifts in my wife and daughters, and You have given me a gift of a pleasant, playful disposition.

Please hlep us to maintain and to grow our love for each other by helping us to grow our love for You.

Thank You for the productive time at work today even as I was working from home in order to watch over my daughter.

Dear LORD, please continue to help us to be productive at home and at work. Please help me win the Borderlands II challenge contest. Please help our family return to financial stability and to financial freedom.

I ask all these things in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Transcendence

Dear LORD,

Thank You for today. Thank You for Your friendships and company You have given me throughout today.

I was not directly productive at work today, and I regret that. But I was able to work on ancillary things that may be useful elsewhere and later, and I'm grateful for that.

And, at home, I was surly at my best, but I was able to start work on chores, contribute to making supper, and be with my family when all I wanted to do was to sleep. So, thank You for allowing me to transcend what I wanted to do, and instead did what was for the betterment of all, and in so doing, I was bettered, one-hundred fold.

And I got some socked-knocked-off writing done that I got to knock into shape.  Thank You for letting me write and express myself in this way.

Please watch over my family and Your children everywhere.

I ask this in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Reunited

Dear LORD,

Thank You for today. Thank You for the conversations at work. Please bless them and make them fruitful for our team and our customer, so that they may do what needs be done efficiently and effectively.  Thank You for helping me to solve the thorny problem of sunset dates at work and for getting the issues around it done today to the customer's satisfaction. Please help me to resolve the issues for retrying work and handling that work gracefully.

Thank You for helping me to win today's dietbet, weighing in below goal weight of 170.9#. Please help me to win with the new target weight today at 166.5#.

Thank You for giving me this special time with You in the Adoration Chapel this morning.

I ask and offer these things in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Happy 10th Birthday, L'il Iz!


Lizzy: "This is the first day of the rest of your life!" Happy 10th Birthday!

Dear LORD,

I offer this visit to the Adoration Chapel an a Rosary of the Luminous Mysteries in thanksgiving for my daughter, Li'l Iz, on the occasion of her tenth birthday. Please watch over her and be with her as she grows in Your Love.

I ask this in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Prayer for peace in Syria

Dear LORD, I offer this visit to the Adoration Chapel, this fast today, and this Glorious Mysteries Rosary for peace in Syria in accordance with the call Pope Francis sent out to the World today.

Please, LORD, rest Your Benevolent Hand on us, Your people, and guide us in what is good, what is right, what is Holy, what is pleasing in Your Sight. Please take my prayers and those of the whole World as an offering and intercede in these wretched affairs of Man and set them straight. Please provide, protect and love us, Your lost, little children, and bring us into Your Care.

We ask all these things in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hope is what we CRAVE


Good Morning, LORD,

It is a September morning, LORD, and here I am, alone with You, tonight.

Thank You for giving me this special privilege of just me and You right here, right now. Who else in the world has that? Help me to b eworthy of You, LORD, in this moment alone with You.

Thank You for pulling me out of bed, LORD, and making sure I was here, on time, so that Jim may rest and recover from his illness and so that I could relieve Jack from pulling an extra hour of Adoration tonight, LORD.

[deleted]

I prayed a Rosary of Luminous Mysteries tonight. Come, LORD, illuminate our world with Your Light of Hope.

It is what we crave.

I ask this in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

One Thousand Years



Dear LORD,

HA!

I made it to the Adoration Chapel with a minute to spare. It's funny, LORD, the things that make us nervous or the things that please us. 1,000 years from now, will any of this matter? Will the name Flannery O'Conner still be known and admired? Even Shakespeare hasn't lasted that long, and Jane Austen is just a baby at around two hundred years ... but I worry about making it to the Adoration Chapel in time, and am pleased when I do. 1,000 years from now, will anyone care? Will anyone even know? Will this page be preserved magically, digitally, like cunieform, and people will puzzle over the arcane script, the runic-sound-forms of the letters and wonder what the 'code' is that I was writing? For, obviously, the people in ancient times (now) write only to find the Lode Stone or for incantatory purposes. Is that, LORD, what will be remembered of this time?

Yet, LORD, You came into history and, quietly, shook the world. 1,000 years later, You are the most known, most talked about and debated thing in the world... and people doubt Your Divinity? 1,000 years before Your Incarnation, You declared Your intent. 2,000 years after the Immaculate Conception, Mary is the most common name in the world, and Your Name, at the sound of it, every knee in heaven bows and the angels fall on their faces in awe and worship.

And what is this all to You? Nothing. Nothing but the wind in the trees. You stoop to save your littlest ones, but the admiration of princes is but dross, the passage of time is but the blink of an eye.

And I worry about my temporal concerns, the problems I create in and for myself.

Please grant me perspective. Please help me let got of these things that worry me, and hold onto You. Please help me to save lives for You.

I ask these things in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Maps

Dear LORD,

Thank You, thank You, thank You for today.

Thank You for brining me help today in the form of my coworkers, Sri and Srini, who helped me to see what the problems were and to see where they were so I could apply myself to them properly and to fix them. Please help to bring these issues to a close so that the project can move forward and so that people can do their jobs and be happy doing them.

Thank You, also for helping me to lose a little bit of weight. Help me to stay disciplined so that I can eat rightly and keep this weight off and so that I can continue to lose weight until I am back at my ideal weight and can maintain a healthy outlook to live a healthy life.

Thank you for giving me clear vision and a burning heart so that I can see a way to do things no one else can and so that I burn until I accomplish the things I set out to do.  Please give me that zeal for myself. I've shown my worth, over and over, to my employers; please allow me to show it for myself so I amy prosper my business.

Thank you for giving me imagination and sympathy, so that I may write stories that others care to read, take to heart, and feel better about themselves and their day.

Please, LORD, be with our family the rest of this week:  my girls need me to shepherd them this weekend at the Richmond conference so my wife can be free to attend the conference, learn, contribute, share, and grow. Please be with her today and every day. She is so good for me and for us, and we love her.

I ask all this in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen

Egypt

Dear LORD,

I offer this hour for the lives lost in Egypt. May those who have died and who will die be examples of Christian Witness and Charity. May you take them home to You, Your martyrs, and hold them in Your Divine Embrace.

I ask and offer this hour in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Ahab


Dear LORD,

Forsaken, Never-ending, Novenas.

So, I just got four text messages tonight saying I had to respond by the end of today for a contract/job opportunity or else it would go away.  Of course, I was asleep the whole time, in preparation for this hour. Was this Your Hand, LORD? Was it Your Hand that the Google job offer went to my junk email on my hotmail account? So that I didn't get the Google job? Was it Your Hand that we built a demo for the Gov't that worked, only to have Lock Martin sweep in and take the contract on false hopes to only say later that it couldn't be done? From our working demo? Was all this Your Hand? to place me, here, now, before You on bended knee but pride ever unbroken?

Just like Lucifer ... Auclair: 'in the light' and Lucifer: 'the Light bearer.'

Or is it Your Hand that I still stand up, morning after hopeless, dreary morning, lamenting what could-have-been instead of praising You for what-now-is? In this, what is called, the God-forsaken-hour. But You do not forsake Your people, and Your Promises are sure. The only think that is sure is You.

And I look at myself and my narcissism, my me-focus, and see You promise a Savior and 1,000 years later the Incarnation, and I see myself as Ahab, living, hoping, dying, never seeing Your Promise fulfilled. Am I Ahab, wanting something for me and mine, not seeing myself as a tiny-tiny step in a journey of 1,000 years? What is my request for today, when Your Love is never-ending? It's nothing to You. It's a drop in the ocean of time. Yet You care every hair on my head, and when a bird falls from the sky, You know it. Why are You like that, and I am like this? Why are You infinite, and I, finite? And what is the point of me striving if today I hear Your Voice, but one day is 1,000 years to You? What do I pray for when I pray my Novena, then? That I get a job that pays the bills? That my business starts, succeeds, and prospers? Health and spiritual well-being for my family and friends, those that I love? What is this to You? What do I pray for in my Novena? that I be ready when my time comes? That not my will but Your Will be done? Immaculate Mary, her praises we sing, was 14 when You told her Your Plan, and she didn't say one thing about what her plans were or what she wanted. She said, "Let it be done to me according to Thy Word." And I see her example and am not inspired but am terrified. I am not filled with admiration for her self-sacrifice so much as I am filled with disappointment with my own selfishness. 

Martyrdom is "easy," saith I who am not Edith Stein, just one "yes" to You to die for You. This mortification-stuff, however, is hard, and I don't like the sacrificial aspect of in in the cost to me in my daily life. It's inconvenient, LORD, a cross I begrudgingly carry, like Jesus did, dying once for all. But not, because He said, "Not my will, but Thine be done." He Said it for me and for all, because He knew I don't say it so often when I must.

Yet, there is You. And miracles, both great and small, every day. There is the miracle of every day, me getting up and going out, when You know how much I hate it, LORD, preferring to stay in at home and wallow. There is the blessing of me singing "all of Creation" as I got into the car to come to pray here, and while singing, turn on the radio to have that very song accompanying me down the road. Then have Toby Mac sing "me, without You" to let me know You're laughing joyfully at how funny I am and how fun life actually is.



Help me find it. Help me find You.

I as all this in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Life sucks and then you die


Nicki Elson frames a question: why are people scared of references to God and religion?

It's funny, in a sad way, that each person's answer to her question is a depersonalized one. They answered a clinical question clinically. What the question begs is "Why are you afraid of God?" Nobody answered that. They said: "Well, I don't know, but 'some people may' ..."

Sad.

"Why am I afraid of God?" "Why am I afraid?" Why do I put down a book that dares to talk about God? I don't. I dare to dig deep down into me ... and that's my answer for you, Nicki. People fear God because it confronts themselves, very, very personally.

A confrontation very much like saying: I love you.

I love you.

Why are people afraid of saying that? Why are people afraid of what that means?

Because God and Love require everything I have and everything I am. And I know I don't measure up.

And you can sugar-coat that or depersonalize it, but God is God. "My life sucks. Why? DON'T ASK!" My life sucks because I suck and I hate God. And 'Good' King David (the 4th D?) life sucked when he turned from God. By putting God there, you pose the question noone wants to examine today.

So, I could do the same thing here. I could thumb my nose at the facile, unexamined responses, and thereby avoid giving a heartfelt response. After all, satirical criticism is hip. Or, I could ask myself that question. What disturbs me, irks me, makes me uncomfortable, about seeing God, well, anywhere?

And the disturbing, irking, fearful thing is this: if God is there, I have to be there. Am I there? Am I truly there? Or am I just trying to get by, unnoticed, and not cause trouble, and not get into any, either?

God is a challenge to which we have to respond. Job didn't question God. He couldn't. God questioned Job, and God questions us, and the only answer we can give ... is our very selves.

And the irksome, inconvenient thing is this: we don't measure up, and we know it.

So, the modern response is to ignore the question, and to ignore God. No God means no bothersome questions to ask, like: "Why am I here?" "Who made me?" "Why did God make me?" "Where is God?"

God is everywhere. God is here. God is in my heart.

Yes, even in my meek, weak, broken, unworthy, corrupted heart.

Ya remember the Baltimore Catechism and its very, very simple answers to very, very simple questions?

People don't want simplicity these days. They want full schedules, complicated lives, sound and fury.

Anything to blot out the silence and stillness.

Be still, and know that I am God.

But that requires I be still, and to know that I am me, and God made me, and loves me, just as I am, and wants the best for me, even though I don't. I just want to get by and read a smexy little romance novel so I can go to work, which I hate, so I can come home, and repeat that dull, pointless routine until I die, never having lived.

And not examine that the unexamined life is not worth living.

Examining a thing, me, and my life, reveals 'stuff.' And noticing stuff requires an action: either I do something about it (my 'stuff') or I intentionally ignore it.

So, if I don't examine it (my stuff), I don't have to become aware of that choice, and am choosing, every day, to ignore all of my stuff.

You put God in front of me, and, uh-oh, that all may just possibly come up. And then I have to deal with it all, including my very off-again relationship with God, and the shit that I know I am.

Then I have to ask the questions. "Why, God! WHY!"

And then, after I do that, God gets to ask the question: sheep, or goat? Or, specifically, "Did you feed me when I was hungry? ... Did you clothe me when I was naked? ... For whatever you did to the least brothers of mine, you did for me."

And I'm terrified I know the answer to that one already.

And you can be oblique as you'd like, and sugar-coat it, and indirectly reference it, or whatever, but you know, my dear, and your readers know, too, it all comes down to this: Why am I here, and what am I doing with my life?

God has a way of doing that ... cutting through all the bullshit, past the 'but I just wanted ...' ... to get what's really real.

People are so whacked today, that a dose of reality, even a little tiny gentle dose, ... might just be the wake-up call that they're terrified to answer.

They'd rather stay in the stupor of the nightmare that they're in: running, running, running so that it's all a blur, and being blurry, means nothing matters and it's not their fault they can't attend to you, me, or their own selves. Busy, busy, busy, always busy, but never completing anything. Running, but never arriving, just passing by, but not staying to visit and to be present.

The nightmare has it's comfort: it's all they know, it's all they can hold onto.

The wake-up call has no comfort. It only has you and God, face-to-Face. And what can He offer, but Faith, Hope, and Charity? And what do you get out of that, but Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the LORD ... you know, what everybody claims to want, but nobody has?

Not without God they don't.

But let's not talk about God. Religion starts wars and stuff. And it doesn't do everything that it does do, like feed and shelter and comfort the hungry or disenfranchised or poor. Government can do all that for us now. I mean, we've done a great job on our own without Him: Hitler and Stalin ring any bells, anyone?

Or were Blessed Mother Teresa and Blessed Pope John Paul II misguided fools who did nothing of consequence?

Like us, like all of us, like, personally, me ... without God.

Yeah, it's much safer with that God-stuff left to old fogey priests in Church on Sunday if I can make the time to make it this week, maybe. So busy these days.

Please don't mention it in your books. That God-stuff may make some people uncomfortable. So I hear. Oh, you mean me? Why are you making this personal? What's your problem, and don't you know that's not polite to ask me personal questions? Anyway, gotta get ready for work. 'Bye.

"'Bye"?

Wait.

Do you mean: "Good bye"? Like "God be with ye"?

My confirmed name is Michael (מִיכָאֵל), after the archangel. The name comes from the Hebrew: "Who can question God?"

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

To be better than I am...



Dear LORD,

So.

I'm angry and I'm frustrated.

But why?

It's because I desire to be a better person than I am, and I'm not there yet, and I'm not getting there as quickly as I want to get there.

'There' being right here.

LORD, please help me take my eyes off my own anger and frustration. Help me to see myself as You see me. Help me to be the person I am striving to be. Help me to know that I am that person already.

My anger and frustration is a good thing, LORD ... it indicates that I am striving to be more than what I am only just now. Reform my attitudes and perceptions. Take my eyes off myself, and help me to look through Your eyes, to see me as I am, then ...

Fix my eyes on You.

I love you, LORD.

Amen

Temporal Petitions for Recovery

Dear LORD,

I pray that my contract manager at Celerity, Jesumine, recovers from her illness, and that she is again happy, healthy and productive.

I pray that wife of my coworker, Mike, has recovered from her hospitalization and that her Doctor's appointment went well, that she is well and that Mike is untroubled, at peace and calm, knowing that she is in the best of hands, Yours.

I ask these things in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen

Discouraged by Burdens


Dear LORD,

Thank You for today.

Some days — today — it's harder to say that than others. You rain down plentiful blessings today, as You do, every day, but some days I make it harder on myself to be open to receiving them.  I started this day on a meditation on death, but ended up becoming dogmatic, self-righteous, and now regret writing anything about it. There's a lesson: write, then stop and pray about it for a day first.

Today we had biryani for lunch, and free, too, but I'm still stuck on yesterday's lost free lunch because Jesumine was sick? Please, LORD, reform my heart and restore Jesumine to good health and happiness, too. But I am caught up in secular things: my system isn't working, and I don't know why, and I'm angry and frustrated about that. Nish is leaving to lead a team at thirty dollars more per hour, and I'm happy for him, but also sad that I feel stuck in this high-paying job that I'm buffeted about in and am still not meeting the bills.

I am thankful to have had the conversation with my wife about the costs of living here and living with paying off our debts, as that is one burden she shared instead of continuing to carry that burden by herself, but I'm sad to be the one to have put us there that she has to bear this burden of us getting out of it, and now the IRS with a three-thousand dollar penalty besides? When they tax us for a year with no income? It screams of injustice, and I don't want to play this game any more, but I don't know how to walk away from the table (responsibly), so I keep playing a game I'm losing at, and I'm becoming a sore loser, besides. 

And, all the while, everyone around me is supportive, hopeful, and encouraging: they are confident that I'm competent and will do well, and that, even, is a source of discouragement for me. How can they believe in me, when I don't? Do You feel the same way about me, too, LORD? Why?

I plead for Your Divine Help in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Meaning of Life


"I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m finding that ..." people are obsessively concerned that they are obsessively concerned about Death.

Why is that?

I'm concerned.

I'm concerned that people are obsessing over the wrong things, and are therefor living disordered lives. The sole end of your life, your entire 'reason' (your 'end') is your death.

And you're concerned you're concerned about that?

You celebrate the completion of something. "Completion." Guess what that means? To complete something is for you to 'kill' it and for it to 'die.'

That's why so many people never get anything done. They'd rather, obsessively, prolong, artificially, the life of something: their project at home, their dead-end job, than to complete it, naturally, 'kill' it, and move on with their lives, no longer attached to that thing.

But no, they keep feeding the external thing with their own lives so that this thing, this job, this doctor's thesis you've been working on for seven years now, this room you're going to tidy up 'when you get to it' but you never do, this just-this-one-more-level-in-this-video-game that never ends, this whatever-in-your-life-you're-attached-to that you keep feeding with your attention grows bigger and bigger in your life, until it is everything, it sucks up all your time and all your attention, it's the big, white elephant in the room, and the only thing that isn't there any more is you. Your husband can't talk with you, because he's talking to your job, not to you, any more.

Congratulations, you're not concerned about Death, you're concerned about doing a good job at your job, a perfect little cog in whatever wheel that feeds the beast ...

... by sucking out your soul.

You know when I know that I haven't reached down deep enough into me, and how I know that I really haven't opened up my heart, in my writing?

I look at my stats. If I don't see 'Death' there, I know I haven't done my work. I haven't tried hard enough. I didn't let go of this or that compulsion.

I haven't truly lived, if I don't truly die.

My daughter celebrates a birthday. Death.

I get promoted to 'Senior developer.' Death.

We have a new baby. Death.

I finish my taxes. Death.

I write a new chapter. Death. I publish that chapter. Death.

OMGosh, I finally, finally write 'The End' to "My Sister Rosalie."

Death. Death. Death. And that death, I'm scared (death), just might kill me.

Isn't that what you're afraid of? That if you actually do something, and face your fear, and walk right up to it, embrace it, and with it, move forward into that new chapter of your life ...

... aren't you actually afraid you'll die?

And, this time, the fear is justified: you actually will die. The old you will die, and the new you will be born, and you'll actually live, for goodness sake, unencumbered by that stupid, pointless thing that was tying you down to who-you-used-to-be, and because why, because you were so frikken attached to that something, that pointless thing, that nothing: that job, or that thesis, or that Mommy van and everything that it says about you (that is: everything that you think other people think about you, but nobody really cares about you, and if they did care about you, you know: really care about you, WOULDN'T IT BE LOVERLY?).

But no, you're too scared to think on your final end — you are dust, and everything you do is empty and meaningless  no, you'd rather care about your job, or about how you think other people think about you, than actually kill those things binding your life, constraining it into this tight little box that you can pretend to control, so that you can 'live' your 'life' on 'your' terms, worrying, obsessing, over everything, and accomplishing nothing.

When you accomplish something, you kill it in your life, so that it becomes free of you, and gets to live, and so that you become free of it, and you get to live.

But, oh, noes! That's too scary and unpredictable (Death), and We. Can't. Have. That.

Death.

The autocracy of 'oh, I'm not scared of death, I don't even think about it, because that so not cool!' has moved Death from ever before you, so now it's behind you, biting at your heels, the invisible monster under the bed you refuse to confront, so that, paradoxically, you nerve more and more about it: you're giving Death life, and killing yourself in the process. You're scared to die, but you won't admit that, not even to yourself, so you will never truly live.

I'd prefer to put Death front and center. And you know what? When I do: it is so liberating. I am going to die. I am going to die today; I am going to die tomorrow. I don't know when, precisely, but I do know that it will happen in my life.

So, is this thing, this little thing worthy of my time and effort? Yes? Then I will do it, and put my hand on the oar and pull with all my might and pull this ship into battle, for ... Today is a good day to die.

No? Then fuck it. This little thing is not worthy of my time nor of my attention? Fuck it, and fuck your petty fear of death, refusing to live, and refusing to let me live and revel and dance gleefully in this life I'm given. You can live your small, little, mousy life in your little, tiny box, scared of everything, but not concerned with death, because that's not P.C., but you're not going to drag me down into the sewer of your empty, grey, and only-existing-and-not-truly-living life.

I'd like to start a new trend here, standing against this wave of fear and conformity I see at present. I'd like to be the one to stand up, and to be proud of the fact that one of the things, and, most times, the primary thing, I'm concerned about is Death. I'd like to propose that when you, dear writer, check your stats to see how Buster and Kellianne, and Dr. James W. Pennebaker have to say about what you say to yourself in your writing, as opposed to how you truly think and feel about yourself (eh, you'll get there, ... or you won't), and how you see Death prominent, or even preeminent, that instead of being afraid or angry or perplexed, that ...

That you're proud.

"I'm thinking of the final things, the last things," you say to yourself, proudly.

I'm letting go of this, so that I can choose that. I'm dying, in my writing, and, projecting: I'm dying. Full Stop.

I'm dying.

I am but dust, and to dust I shall return.

How then, shall I live?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Better Day


Yesterday I wrote "TOMORROW will be a better day."

And, by the Grace of God, it was.

I got my application stitched together and working. I got (mostly) caught up on my writing. Didn't quite, but I had only one-hundred words to make up. I got eleven hours of sleep.

Everything that was going wrong, no matter how much effort I threw at it: work, writing, sleep, is now going right.

What changed?

Nothing. If anything, I'm 'trying harder' less at these efforts.

It's how I choose to look at things: my application now works, which I deem a success (although I am no closer to delivering a finished, working product, end-to-end then I was yesterday or the day before ... always something to fix or to tweak), I slept a lot before, I sleep a lot now. I exercised before, I exercise now. I wrote before, I'll write now.

Nothing changed. I changed.

My attitude changed.

So, today calls, its business is sucking me in, but before I get involved in today, and forget yesterday, and the promises I've made, I now stop, pausing to be grateful for this moment of happiness.

I now choose to be happy about my situation, my lot in life, whereas before I was angry and frustrated. I still have that anger and frustration, that drive, but now it doesn't consume me, becoming me. No, now it's something I have, I acknowledge I have, and I move on.

Thank you, LORD Jesus, for giving me this day, where nothing has changed, but it's tomorrow, and, as I promised myself, it is a better day, just because I've accepted it as that.

Amen.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The worth of 500 words ...




So, how much are another 500 words worth? It's now 8:01 am and I could drive off, and right now, to catch the bus at Hummer Road, or I could write, right now, another 500 words and be done with my 750 words for today.

Last night I worked 13 hours and got home just in time to eat a little bit of supper and then drive off to Adoration, then I had just enough energy to write a few words and then just simply try to stay awake for the LORD. I didn't do a very good job of it, so I offer my sleepiness as a mortification, that the LORD may take it, my meager effort, and that good may come from it.

And then I got home and stayed awake another hour and a half watching useless Youtube videos. I did want to write. I do, but then things get in the way.

Writing takes courage, and I have courage. Writing takes strength, and I have strength. Writing takes will, and I have will. So, I simply need to apply my courage, strength, and will, and write when I can write.

So here's the thing, ... to make up for yesterday's lack of writing, I'm writing right now, but then that eclipses me taking the bus this morning and afternoon, where I get in good writing. So, by writing, to make up for last night's lack, I lose very good writing time today, which means I may have to make up for it tomorrow.

I need to play catch-up. Catsup is very good on everything I hear, so I need to catch-up at work, therefor the 10, then 13 hours spent there. I need to catch-up on my writing, so therefor the catch-up right now, and I need to catch-up on my business and stock trading, or therefor life and bills are going to catch-up with me, and I don't see a good way of digging myself out of those troubles, because I'm not doing a very good job of digging myself out of them right now, even with a well-paying job.

I have  a well-paying job, and still the bills are larger than the income. How can I dig my way out later when I'm digging my way in deeper now?

I'm at 623 words, which means I have another 100 words to go, and I'm missing my bus, and I'm really pissed about that, but instead of leaving this half-done, I'm finishing this, driving all the goodness-gracious way to work, and then driving all the way home after working my butt off and facing the music at work, to come home, to write some more for midnight tonight, so that TOMORROW I will be caught up and TOMORROW I will be able to take the bus.

Tomorrow will be a better day, because TODAY I'm finishing what I'm starting, even thought it's annoying as all get-out that I have to finish this now, and I didn't finish it earlier, even though I'm SO way behind in work that I'm working all these extra hours, and I still haven't caught up. I have to catch-up today and show something. And then come home, and be with my family.

Help me, God, o Jesus, to get through my days, and be the man my wife and daughters need in their life.

Amen.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Every Day


"You're the reason for
every good thing, every heartbeat
Every day we get to breathe" The Afters. 


Dear LORD,

Thank You for today. Today I say: "Good Morning, LORD!" and I pray to be worthy of Your Love. Please, LORD, today, and every day, please let me be aware of your Love and worthy of it.

Today, finally, was a good day at work. I finally got my test EntityManager working, and that left me so dumbstruck that I was in the position of looking at what I had to do, for the first time, instead of wondering how I would be able to do it. And with the revelation today, that I can use Entity instances directly, instead of relying on what will be in the constantly-reset database, I can now, with a bit of work, test business logic directly and accurately.  Thank You, LORD  for this breakthrough at work: it has helped me to look at everything — my job, my coworkers — in a more positive light.

Thank You, LORD, for giving my family a nice visitation with Aunt Roberta and for a pleasant family gathering following the Independence Day weekend. Thank You, especially, for delivering them there and for returning them here safely.

LORD, I am angry and anxious to get my technical indicators program and company off the ground and running. Please turn my anxiety to action. Please let me not worry the little things, but simply do them and turn them from excuses to steps along the way to success. I can be a person who goes to my daughters' swim meet and run a successful multimillion dollar company. I can do both and be a person who is capable, successful, compassionate and loving.

LORD, thank You for my talent and success at writing. Thank You, LORD, for these past three consecutive days where I've published a new chapter each day in my Catherine Halsey story-series. With each day that I write, I chip away at being a successful writer. Thank You that for in this I see that consistency yields good results, eventually. Please help me to be consistent in everything that I do.

Thank You, LORD, for my Rosary walks each day. Thank you for letting me set aside time each midday to do these walks so that I may break away from temporal and secular concerns and contemplate the Eternal for a half-hour each day, so that I may return to the secular world of work and do my work well, being filled with Your Holy Spirit.

  • LORD, every day, let me show kindness to my family. 
  • LORD, every day, let me write a new indicator/agent and then run simulations on Updown so that every day I have a measurement of how my business progresses. 
  • LORD, every day, let me do my Rosary walk with You.
  • LORD, please bless my family with another child for our family's happiness.
  • LORD, every day, may I remember my family, and see something good in each of them, and say a kind thing to each of them.
  • LORD, let me write something, 750 words at least, that touches a heart, brings joy to a life, and saves a soul, every day.
  • LORD, every day, help me to moderate my appetites and to make abundant what I produce to Your Honor and not to Your shame.
  • LORD, every day, let me work and let me be grateful to be working and grateful and generous with whom I'm working.
  • LORD, every day, let me minimize the use of my car and use other ways to get to and from my destinations, such as work, or a quiet place to write, by bicycling, or walking, or busing.
  • LORD, every day, let me pray a Rosary.
  • LORD, every day, let me find something to laugh with joy at and let me share that joy with someone else so they smile and so that their day was better, not worse, for me being in their lives.


LORD, you put me here, today, for a reason. Help me, each day, to know Your Will and to do Your Will.

I ask all these things in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Prosperity


Dear LORD,

Thank You for today. Thank You for the small miracles of today that helped me, not only to make it through today, but also to enjoy parts of it, even at work. Thank you for giving me a tasking that has in it new skills for me to acquire so that work is not something I simply have ot get through, but something where I can feel like I am participating in for the accomplishment of the goals of the group.

Thank You, LORD, for this past week, and the extra long weekend on the 4th, U.S.A. Independence Day, gave me special time with my family where we could scamper over rocks on the Billy Goat Trail and watch the fireworks at the Fairfax County High School, a new and enjoyable experience: crowded, but a respite from the pressing mob at the Mall n D.C.

Thank You, LORD, for the special gift of Susannah's recovery to her family, for the very special gift of her recognizing me, smiling and waving. Such a simple gesture from her, but such a welcoming one to see, that even if everything isn't okay, and may not be, she still has that joy in her to be happy to say 'hi!'

Today, Tuesday, I am supposed to answer the question of supporting local farming. I haven't so far. Please keep me on track and honest, so that I do what I say. Please, LORD, increase my productivity one-hundred fold, so that when I awaken, I hit the ground running hard and fast and inspired. I've written and journaled every day for the past over one-hundred days, please focus and turn my attention to my business so that it may benefit as well and so that when it prospers, it rains blessings down on me, my family, and my friends.

I ask all these in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A 'Case of the Mondays'

Dear LORD,


Please help me.

Please help me to be productive and helpful, kind and charitable at work. Please help me not to be angry and bitter, sullen and spiteful. Please take my anger and fear, my dislike of this new job, into Your hands and forge it anew, transform this passionate distaste into a passionate desire to help and then into a passion for my work that does help. Translate passion into passion. Make me an instrument, not of destruction and sabotage but of an example of Your Grace, a guiding light for my coworkers to admire and to emulate. Turn my place of work from being dispirited to being inspired.

LORD, I need the gifts of the Holy Spirit today, now, and as I go into work, and stumble and fail. When I do that, do not let me wallow, but pick me up, so that I may try again, and keep trying until it works, and I work, and we all work.

Labora, a gift from you. Please let it be so for me and my coworkers today, and everyday.

I ask this in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen.

The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are:


  1. Wisdom
  2. Understanding
  3. Counsel
  4. Fortitude
  5. Knowledge
  6. Piety
  7. Fear of the LORD

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Reckoning


Dear LORD,

Wow.

Thank You for today. It's been a week now at Freddie Mac, and it feels like I've been away from the chapel, away from You, forever.

The new job is so much worse than I thought it would be, and I have few reasons to stay, besides the need for the money. The worst reason. 

But You put me there. To teach me what? Humility? Fortitude? Patience? Trust? Or are You teaching me to use my brain and to know when to run when I should? Or what?

Did you place @rmedia along my bus route home for a reason? What reason? Was it to humble me to show me "there but by Your Grace go I"? After all, James Bailey and I were in the exact same positions as software developers at SAIC 10 years ago, and now he's the president and cofounder of a successful multimillion dollar software VAR/content management company, and I'm struggling to make ends meet every day, every month, back to doing the same-ol', same-ol' as an hourly employee.

Or is this a beacon of hope for me? James did this, and all he had back then was an idea and the conviction to see it through. I have an idea, too, and I have friends, like James does, and I have conviction. Ten years from now I could be the president and cofounder of my own multibillion dollar start up financial company, instead of being another consumer, one of the many who simply work for these companies, instead of having them work for me.

I'm at a point now where I have questions with ready answers, but how to proceed from here, right now, today, yields vastly different futures with significant impacts on my day, starting today.

What do I do, LORD?

My life has lead me to this point — not to the point where I wanted to be, but to the point where I find You wanted me. Why?

Tomorrow is July 4th —American Independence Day — and I find myself sad for myself and my Country.  I feel we are more servile to tyranny today than we were when we threw off the yoke and declared our freedom from oppression. We have more liberties, more options, today than ever before, but instead of this abundance making us better, we have become slothful: libertines. I have this terribly sad fear that a reckoning is coming for my sins, but my daughters are going to be the ones to pay for them.

Please watch over them, the innocents, and me, the guilty, and our Country, and the World.

I ask this in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ardor from Hate


Dear LORD,

Tuesday, my first day at Freddie Mac, is done.

Thank You for it being over.

Thank You for being with me this first day, especially in the kindness of strangers, my new coworkers. Thank you for letting them be people who make the effort to extend themselves to help, to take time out of their day and their tasks to help me start, to set up my new work laptop and to schedule me getting my badge and all the little necessary things that aren't productive for them but so needed for me to find my feet.

It's a hard lesson to learn again: I must relearn to walk before I can hit the ground running... and I so want to run now.

LORD, I hate my new situation. I hate the cramped, public working conditions. I hate the heavy feel of anticipation and expectation and hurry from the team: why run only to plummet over a cliff? I hate the familiar faces from my old work-place, that they have new friends now and that they (think they) know me, adding to the burden of how I'm supposed to be here.

Stumbling blocks.

LORD, take these stones I reject and make them into an ediface pleasing to your sight.  Take my hates, my anger and fear and turn them into zeal for my Father's house to consume the 'me' in me and make me burn with ardor so that others may see me ablaze with Your Love and Spirit. Take my weaknesses and fill my emptiness with You and Your Strength, LORD, so that this new situation may be a blessing to me, to my family and to my society, these new coworkers, so I may be a blessing to them through You.

I ask all this in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen.

Prayer for Susannah


A prayer of supplication.

Dear LORD,

Susannah from my daughters' track team is in the hospital again with seizure which the doctors do not know the cause.

Please be with her. Please hold her in Your arms. Please let her and her family know Your Abiding Love and Care.

LORD, I devote this hour of prayer for he and her family that Your Will be known, done, and be a comfort and solace to them.

If you will her speedy and safe recovery, be it done.

I pray this in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen

Auld Lang Syne


Dear LORD,

Last, or, penultimate, day of work at Fannie Mae for the present.

Thank You for allowing me to start this last day correctly in Your Presence, LORD. Funny how we are always in the present in Your Presence, but we are always dwelling on the past or always worrying about the future. Why is that, LORD? Why is it that we dwell on the things we can no longer change or worry about the things that will most likely never come to pass? Why cannot we always be, now, like You, and instead of dwelling or worrying we could simply be, like You, and praise the gift You've given us, every second: the Present?

Thank You, LORD, for today. Thank You LORD, for the gifts that You are giving me today: my wife, who loves me and understands me and accepts me, no matter how trying I am. Thank You for the gifts of my children, who, no matter how stern, strict, and angry I can be with them, still forgive me and se me as their 'funny Papa.'  Thank You for letting me lose my cell phone last Thursday, allowing me to unplug from pointless distractions and plug back into what really matters: You, my family — my life.  Perhaps this job-chage will be to me what Father Berez's trials were to him: a roommate in seminary that he didn't want and an assignment to St. Michael, a parish he didn't ask for in prayer — stumbling blocks that became cornerstones in his life. Perhaps leaving this very good thing where I am loved and accepted, and going onto this new thing where I will start over and rebuild trust and understanding, are blessings from You.

Please make it so?

I ask these things in the Name of Jesus, the Christ.

Amen.