Friday, March 21, 2014

Blend

This blog, Open Catholic, feeds to a website that hosts separate blogs focused on Prayer, Social Justice, and Word Open (a creative project). Besides these four-mentioned, I have a poetry blog I have run since 2008, called Concrete Formalist Poetry. 2008. That's sounding a bit way-back!

I have these blogs, through which I make the points I want to make. I tend not to argue. Rather, my blogs serve to testify, or witness. I mean, that's how I see them. I want my blogs to be "positive" not in the Hooray for me sense, but as statements. Clear statements. Not rejoinders.

Well, I hope I live up to the model I have set by my blogs. I hope I am positive (not merely a cheerleader. Not that I object to cheerleaders.) in my life, by living my life as a statement of life in the light of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

A lot has been written, sung, argued, pleaded, shouted, and murmured in the same vein. My point is, I do not much elaborate on my belief. I don't see that it requires explanation. Oh, I preach. It may not look like a lot like preaching, but you can bet I preach, whether in word (either by what I say or choose not to say) or gesture, it is always on my mind to fulfill the edicts of the Lord.

Want to know what I believe? Read the Creed, I might say. It's all there. Or, to say, I follow the commandments of the Lord. To love God with all my heart and my neighbor - that means, anyone - as I love myself.

But, to titles. This blog entitled, Blend. I sometimes title blogs after I write them, once it is clear to me what the title should be, for whatever reason makes sense for that blog, but in this case, as in a few others, I titled first, as a way of setting before myself a theme to write toward.

My life in Jesus Christ suggests a blend of statement, and purpose. That everything I do in all my blogs, as outlined above, are really a blend of statements that serve one purpose. And, more. That my writing, my work, my life with my family - all that too blends. Blends, to what?

Read the Creed. Ha. Got ya.

Love you, too. Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Concerning Lent

One might find oneself in a fire and be concerned chiefly with escape, and one might turn to helping others escape.

Or, one might find that the fire is oneself.

The Catholic tradition of Lent is sponsored by the 40 days the Lord spent in the desert, where he was tested by Satan, before returning to the world to announce his mission, and the kingdom of God.

Allow me to boldly suggest that our Lent might take into account - that it might serve - a world in which the Kingdom has been announced.

We observe Lent as a test of our resolve, partly as empathy of the path the Lord took, and partly as a means of addressing, and mastering, worldly, personal, merely material desires.

All this is honorable. Incredibly honorable, to my way of thinking. By which I mean, "incredible." Yes, there are 1.2 billion Catholics in the world today, but even so, as with the celebration of the Eucharist, it is admittedly incredible - "beyond" mere belief - that a person should subscribe to the practice. This is, of course, why we ascribe responsibility for our belief and practices - for our faith - to the Holy Spirit, received through God, the Father, through his son, our Lord.

Returning to the Lent of the Kingdom.

We might eschew worldly pleasures, but as St. Paul schools us (or, reminds us), faith is not merely a matter of the body. I suggest that we consider surrendering something of our hearts for Lent. Such matter as we are accustomed to hold dear, such as:

  • Our opinions
  • Our prejudices
  • Our resentment
  • Our pride

This is the time, the perfect time, to bring into practice recognition of a living Lent. What better time, blessed by the example of Pope Francis, than to confess that we are blessed as brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ to testify, that we will not hold back our love, that we refuse to judge before the appointed time.

What is Lent, after all? It is yet a period of awareness, of mindfulness. How are we tasked? To be aware and mindful, to serve God as followers of Jesus Christ.

This Lent, these 40 days, I aspire to be open and mindful of God and my brothers and sisters, without any consideration or concern for who they are, their condition or orientation. In this manner, I will follow the Way.

In this manner, I will live my life.