Wednesday, July 31, 2013

To be better than I am...

Dear LORD,


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013


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.


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.


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,


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.