Posts Tagged ‘ Mark Shea; Patheos ’

It’s been too long

Maybe not for you, my dear reader; but for me.  This blog started because I felt I needed to stop hiding in my diary.  That somehow, “going public” would force me to raise the bar a notch.  Well between the ridiculously small numbers of people who have actually read any posting in this blog, and the long stretches between my postings, my arm is apparently not being twisted very hard.

And that may be the most telling: I very much want to grow, but I’m a one-man show, and it’s tough.  The following is neither a rant, nor a rave; it is most definitely a ramble.

I happened upon Mark Shea’s post “A Chestertonian reflection on blasphemy and the Annunciation” on the Patheos website.  My first thought was simply: “Oh boy, some more Chesterton!”  That was soon overtaken by thoughts of a co-worker that I have known for 25+ years.  The fickle finger of fate being what it is, he and I sit next to each other every minute for the entirety of our full-time jobs (think 40-hour work week, though we work a very non-standard schedule).  During my world travels as a field representative, my co-worker and his wife have visited me on assignment – out of the way places, and places no one else did.  He has also generously celebrated the birth of my Twins almost two years ago.  He has a photographic memory (think “walking internet”).

He is highly educated, has Jewish roots and has no use for what he can’t touch.  He is also the most profane man I have ever met (even my Marine DIs had a larger vocabulary).  For someone who can quote the Torah, every other sentence (very nearly literally so) contains the standard blasphemy you might hear from a New York cabbie.  For someone with Jewish roots, he can also throw in “Jesus Christ” with disgusting frequency.

He knows I am a practicing Catholic; I wear a Benedict’s Crucifix from a chain around my neck – outside my clothing for all to see (yes, at work, in public, etc.).  I’m the only one I know who “announces” his religious affiliation so blatantly (I suppose my parish priest might wear a black Cossack on occasion – though I’ve never seen him in one).  Several of my co-workers have commented on my crucifix in one way or another.  It is inconceivable that the specific co-worker I am speaking of has no clue how I view his comments.

Have I said anything to this co-worker, like, “bump the needle, already.”  Actually, yes I have.  But, I am conflicted.

On the one hand, I am hurt by his word choice – he clearly doesn’t care what he says.  On one plane, someone so well educated ought to have a much larger working vocabulary (yes, I am a snob).  On a much higher plane, if he is going to abuse any word, he should not be using the words he is using.  He is certainly not being original, just tedious.  I just had a thought that, if he goes to Purgatory and spends just one day for each of his epithets, he’s going to be there far longer than me.

+++

This has been a tough Lent.  I wanted to give up alcohol; but my sciatica has triumphed.  The Second Sorrowful Mystery has to do with “mortification of the flesh.”  At least I have learned that much, thanks to pain that is always there, and is sometimes paralyzing.  But, never once have I looked anywhere but toward GOD.  I have heard, for years, the exasperation in “If there is a GOD, why does He allow bad things to happen.”  There was a time when I leaned in that direction; there was a time when I wondered the same thing.  I still understand why people ask that; but I don’t.  In a paradoxical way, it is a good thing that “bad” things do happen.  I recently heard, “If the world was perfect, it wouldn’t be” (sadly I cannot remember where or when I heard that).  The point is, without the “bad” stuff, there would be no opportunity to grow.

I cannot draw any other conclusion that, because I believe in GOD, I believe in the possibility of eternal life with Him, and this life is preparation for the next life (yes, pretty much just one thought).  As a life of preparation, this journey has afforded me (and everyone I know) opportunities to grow, to become more human – more of a human being and less of an animal.  Since I believe GOD can erase any ‘bad’ thing, people that suffer now may find themselves sitting at the “table of GOD”; whereas people who’ve not had it so bad now may find themselves gazing on Heaven from afar.  Where will I end up?  Dunno, but what am I doing now?

And that is part of the reason behind this blog: what am I doing now?  I am absolutely convinced that I must remain a wage-slave to take care of my immediate family.  I would rather spend the time I am a wage-slave in reading, writing and praying (for me, reading and writing is prayer).  I’d rather be running around the house with my kids right now.  And while I can write later, I know I must strike while the iron is hot, and that means sitting with this laptop.

So, I hope I can write (post) more often.  I hope it helps me on my journey.  If, dear reader, my scratchings help you, that would be even better.