Wednesday, February 19, 2014

'I' is for Interviews

Dear LORD,

Thank You for today. Thank You, finally! for the fourth interview at FINRA... two months interviewing for this contract. Thank You for letting the interview flow well. Thank You for a nice meeting with Clayton and with Matt. Thank You for the friendly, easy-going conversations, for their not belaboring check-marks but for them getting down to what was important for them and why.

LORD, please let me start working on this job this week so that I may start getting paid agains so that our family can weather this financial crisis and so that we can return to some stability.

Thank You for the forbearance of my wife during this difficult time. Please reward her with many spiritual and temporal blessings for her keeping the family safe and secure during this crisis.

LORD, please help us to dig our way out of this debt and return to solvency. Please bless me with strength and determination so that I may see through what needs to be done so we can succeed, again, and prosper!

LORD, thank You for the generosity of my Dad with money so that he could keep us afloat over Christmas.  Thank You LORD, for my dad and his good financial sense and hard work.

LORD, thank You for letting me apply myself to getting the taxes done, Fed-wise, please help me to get those forms sent off (done) and also help me to complete my Commonwealth taxes today (done).

LORD, thank You for the kindness and generosity of acquaintances.

Please, LORD, help us. Heal this broken world. We are all trying so hard, yet we in such dire straights. The World is not working without You in it. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done.

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


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

'D' is for Dreams


Dream 1:

So, I was lost in a large garden and I had a heart-shaped candy, it was very big and when I bit into it the outside was hard candy but the inside was sweet and smooth and creamy and fruity, and I kept looking for you, Mama, but I couldn't find you and I had to do my lessons.

Dream 2:

So, I was holding an egg, and the inside was filled with custard but I only got a little bit of it.

me: what was its color? was it speckled?
EM: Why does that matter?
Mama: What do you remember from your dream?
EM: It was a plain, white egg.

me: how big was it?
EM: It was as big as me (and she demonstrated by rolling up into a fœtal position)

Li'l Iz:

I had a dream, too! I dreamt that Até and I were in a large building, and Até went off to play manhunt with her friends, but then Mama said we had to go and for me to go get Até, but I couldn't find her, even after I looked and look, and I told Mama that. Mama said Até left me everything in her will, so I said 'Yay!' but I was sad, too, because I liked playing with Até.

EM: Hey!


I had a dream, once, twenty years, thirty years ago. I dreamed I was the Silver Surfer, and I was on the waters far, far in the middle of the Pacific ocean, and I was surfing across the waves on a sailboard. The wind was incredibly strong: it knocked the tops of the waves off, capping them, and the spray splashed me and my board, staining it with salt. It was very cold, the sky was gray with clouds, there was no sun, and the ocean was so cold the water was black, but I was not cold, inside. I was alone: it was just me with the wind and the water and the horizon that extended into Eternity, and that was enough.

'Z' is for zeal

"Spirit lead me when my trust is without borders,
Let me walk upon the waters, wherever You would call me"

Dear LORD,

Thank You for today. Today I am in Oceans deep, as I am, every day. Help me to recognize, always, that I am in oceans deep, and that I need Your Love, every day, to make it through the day, firstly, but then be, like You, a Light to the World and to be the salt of the Earth. Let me not hide under a bushel, but place me on Calvary's pedestal, so that I may shine, shine, shine and light Your whole house, and light the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Let me not lose this taste for the life You have created but instead flavor it so that others, on their ways (their ways, little, or on the Way of the Cross), may not stumble, fall, and lose heart, but may instead get up, again, and help each other.

LORD, so many have lost heart today, have lost hope during these hard, hopeless times. Let me not lose heart, nor hope. Let me burn with Your Love, let me be on fire with it, so that others may see me filled with Your Spirit, ablaze with Your Theological Virtues: Faith, Hope, and Charity, and, thus inspired, may I do corporal good works to show Your Love.

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


Sunday, February 9, 2014

'E' is for Ecclesiastes, meditation on God's Gifts

For today's meditation (and, for me, most day's meditations) we turn to Ecclesiastes, specifically, chapter 4:

ח  יֵשׁ אֶחָד וְאֵין שֵׁנִי גַּם בֵּן וָאָח אֵין-לוֹ, וְאֵין קֵץ לְכָל-עֲמָלוֹ--גַּם-עיניו (עֵינוֹ), לֹא-תִשְׂבַּע עֹשֶׁר; וּלְמִי אֲנִי עָמֵל, וּמְחַסֵּר אֶת-נַפְשִׁי מִטּוֹבָה--גַּם-זֶה הֶבֶל וְעִנְיַן רָע, הוּא.

For those of you not Hebrewaically-inclined:

8 There is one that is alone, and he hath not a second; yea, he hath neither son nor brother; yet is there no end of all his labour, neither is his eye satisfied with riches: 'for whom then do I labour, and bereave my soul of pleasure?' This also is vanity, yea, it is a grievous business.

Then, again, so soon after in verse 11:

יא  גַּם אִם-יִשְׁכְּבוּ שְׁנַיִם, וְחַם לָהֶם; וּלְאֶחָד, אֵיךְ יֵחָם.

or again:

11 Again, if two lie together, then they have warmth; but how can one be warm alone?

(Hebrew and the translation provided by the site)

What does this tell us?

One is the loneliest number. God, Himself, alone, is One ("Here, o Israel, the LORD is One!"), but He, being One, is Three Persons, for the very, very first thing He did was spake (or 'did speak' or 'spoke,' as in: "30 spokes share a wheel's hub" ... or ... not), and the very act of speaking, mysteriously, was Himself, too. His Word was Him, and He is His Word.

For God, there is no separation between what He says and who He is.1

The Second Person of God: the Word.

But, again, at the very, very same time, there was the Communion between Himself, the Speaker/Creator, and Himself, the Word, and this Communion was His Progression (?), His Precession (?) ... I actually don't know what to call Him, the Third Person, so we call Him the Holy Spirit, as if the other Two Persons of God weren't fully Holy and Spirit. They are, and even moreso (?) in the Second Person who has two natures: divine and human.

But, He, the Third Person, is that Communion between Speaker and the Word, between the Father and the Son. He is Love, and He is the Holy Spirit, and every second of every day He sustains us, for without Him in us (the Spirit) we are not even dust, we are nothing and obliviated, annihilated.

God can destroy what He creates, St. Thomas proves that in the Summa Theologica, it's just that He chooses never to do that. Satan, Lucifer, chose to leave God in the beginning, but God never left him. God even loves Satan, the trickster and tester, for if God removed His Love from Satan, even Satan, the most powerful of all angels, then Satan would be reduced to nothingness, nonexistence.

There is no 'opposite' to God. The Devil has no power, except the power God gives him.

Just ask Pontius Pilate that. He got that word first hand, and he heard God's word, that's one of the reasons he ran from the very simple decision to punish this insurrectionist. He knew the score: he was playing with fire.

One of the very, very few people who ever did.

Okay, so God is complete unto Himself, and in that completeness, chooses not to be alone. He's fine with being all in all, and all alone, we cannot add to God nor comprehend Him, but he just chooses not to go that way. There's not 'more' that He needs to add (like the creation, itself) for Him to be complete or to be happy.

But He knows that happiness is not in loneliness.


— ee cummings, 95 poems

And we are the created in the image and likeness of God. He has (is, actually) the Holy Spirit, and we have the spirit within us, the Holy Spirit, indwelling, and our own souls.

Be He is One, and we are several, plural, and diverse.

And so, we cannot rest until we rest in Him, but Who Can Know God?

And so, we know, and we love, in each other, and our happiness is made manifest in each other. In a small perfection when we love and are loved (just as God loves and is adored), and in the fullness of it when we see God in the face of each other, and love each other as God intended for us to love: perfectly.

We are made perfect in God's love when we love perfectly.

That will never, ever happen for most of us (Jesus and Mary the perfect counterexamples of when it actually does work), but Ecclesiastes shows us that even in this imperfect life in this imperfect world where we are but dust, two are much better than one. Being just one is terrible: no man is an island, and in two our faults are exposed (to ridicule, yes, and to correction) and our strengths are treasured, admired, respected, and loved.

Our friend, Qoheleth, also knew the score, better than most ever did or ever will: the dead are better off than the living, for they don't need to suffer this foolishness of life, but even better is the person who was never even born, for they never even have to see any of this vanity, this chasing after the wind.

And if you think that's crazy, you're right.

Except for the little fact that Jesus echoed Qoheleth's words, word for word, as he described the coming end.

But we, the foolish ones, are here, are not dead, and are born and are living, and so, what, then, do we do? How, then, are we to live?

The greatest commandment: love God, and love each other.

The greatest thing you'll ever know is to love and to be loved in return.

So, while we are here, my beloved ones, love one another.

1 The whole 'being your word' thing. There's a lesson in that for some people, like everybody, which Ecclesiastes also points out: guard thy tongue, and do not take an oath, for God is in Heaven, and He suffers not fools. And: it is better to do than to swear to do it. You know: the whole 'two ears, one mouth' thing. Or in Jersey-Eyetalian: "Shaddup you face!"

Yeah, that.

'P' is for Prayer

Dear LORD,

Thank You for today. Thank You for the time You've given me, so that I can write, and touch hearts. Thank You for giving me a phone-screen interview today. Please help it lead to paying workso that I can pay the bills this month and through the rest of my family's life.  Thank You for the love of my wife and children. Please guide and protect those in need of Your Love and strength.

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