Each one heard

266297.pToday, Sunday, June 9, 2019 is Pentecost, that great feast of the promised coming of the Holy Spirit.
At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd,
but they were confused
because each one heard them speaking in his own language.

Yesterday I read this at church, and as I stood at the ambo, I was filled with a Holy Spirit moment of my own. Having practiced the reading enough to memorize some of it, I was able to look up and out at the congregation before me, I had one of those Thomas Merton moments. If you are not familiar, one day he was standing on a street corner and saw through new eyes, in a Pentecost-like moment.

42b3fc66-c2d1-4bd7-9291-7bc6f6e931fcEveryone looked the same – yet so different to me at that moment. Not unlike what we read in the Acts of the Apostles, “When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together.” Yes, here we were, a church full of Catholics, a big church – literally and figuratively – gathered as one in Christ. At a time when I feel deeply upset and highly frustrated about the Church, I felt awash in a wave of love.

Somehow that love eluded me today as I read some things in the newspaper that were upsetting to me.  In these fractious times, as we grow Continue reading

Figuring what out? A book review.

Box-of-Paper-Facial-Tissues-with-Pile-of-Used-Tissues-190Snot. Prodigious amounts of snot, buckets of it, really. Honestly, I can’t ever remember needing to purchase an accessory for reading, but this book was different, and boxes of tissue – boxes, not one box, were de rigueur. Members of my family could tell where I had been reading. No matter the location, bed, chair, or sofa, living room or family room, many telltale piles of used, crumpled up tissues would start springing up, like little mountains of white fluffy muck. It was unprecedented. All from reading a book – all from reading this particular book.

At this point you are confused, aren’t you? You look down and to the right, and you see an image of a book with the word, well, an approximation of the word sh!t in it. Then the opening paragraph is all about snot. What the h-e-double hockey sticks is going on?! This is a faith inspired blog, isn’t it? Well, the Catholic faith is deeply incarnational, meaning things like sh!t and snot are unavoidable. Sorry. Tune out if you wish, but take note – you will be missing out if you do. And who wants to miss out on sh!t like this?

Figureshitout-book-kindleFiguring Sh!t Out: Love, Laughter, Suicide, and Survival, by Amy Biancolli (Behler Publications, 245 pp, $15.95, also available on Kindle) is a highly unusual Continue reading