Saturday, August 2, 2014

Mary and Me, or How I Found Our Mother

In our dicocese, we are currently undertaking the process of Marian consecration.  The actual consectration will take place on August 15th, the feast of the Assumption of Mary, at which time the Bishop will re-consecrate the diocese to its patron, the Blessed Mother.  I have no idea how many people are actually going through the month-long spiritual exercise, but I am one of them.

In all honesty, I kind of backed into it.  In my latest career move, I have returned to my radio roots and am doing a morning show on our local Catholic radio FM station.  How I got back to doing a morning show again is a story for another time.  It is a conversion story, though, as is this one.

As part of the program, my producer...who likes the daily reflections I sometimes do...suggested that I do a daily reflection on the daily prayer and reflection of the consecration process.  We are using Fr. Michael Gaitley's "33 Days to Morning Glory."  So I did.  It wasn't any kind of deep magnetism that led me to Mary, it was simply the request of my producer to do a daily piece for the program.

What has happened is that I have been able to go deeper into Marian theology.  This comes on the heels of taking a course on Mary last year at Notre Dame as part of my MA pursuit.  I then chose Mary as one of my topics for my comps.   And then comes this.

Two things:  My faith is not an emotion-based faith.  I am more like Thomas in that I need to see things or understand in some way what's going on before I come to believe on a deeper level.  The path to my heart is through my head,   So that's the process that is going on here.  The other thing, is that I believe that conversions often come bit by bit.  Something happens here, something happens there and none of them are related until you reach a point in the journey and see that they very much are related.

This is exactly what's going on now.  This consecration thing has moved from my head to my heart.
Once I had my post of knowing, my Thomas post, I was able to move from there.  Now I have spent more time in Marian devotion each day then at any other time in my life.   And things are beginning to happen.  After being somewhat stalled out in my faith, there is something moving again and Whatever's Next is on the way.   Without going into great detail, God is simply answering my prayer in a very methodical way, and its a way I neither expected or sought out.

You bet I believe!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Later Sunday Post

For sometime now, I have been wanting to resume this blog.  However, as John Lennon pointed out, life is what happens when you are making other plans.   Without going into details about a rather tumultous year,
I will say that I am back in radio after about a four or five year hiatus.

Never thought it would happen.

Spent a good part of the last few years trying to avoid media as much as possible.

However, this time around, I am involved with Catholic radio.

Over the last few months, I have been working with a truly wonderful group of people and now find myself hosting a local daily morning show (again) on Redeemer Radio, 106.3fm in Fort Wayne.  (You can find it on Tuned In ap.)   Having fun with it, feel at home with it, even though I get to get up at a part of the morning that is unrecognizable to most.

So it's good.

I also find myself rather involved with more things than ever before.  So much for slowing down, right Papa?

Still, I felt that this blog needed to be tended to, a little loving care, a little nurturing, a little of one step at a time, under the guidance of prayer...listening prayer.  So we proceed.

Never in my life has the Lord laid out the whole plan in front of me.  Instead, I am led on what sometimes feels like a blessed treasure hunt.  "Proceed here.  Do this.  Wait.  Now go here."  

That's the case now. I'm proceeding. More information will follow.

Early Sunday

Up before dawn for prayer and strong coffee.  I have the seven Mass this morning.  Homily topic:  Frontal Assault on the Weeds.  Thanks to Fred Winston tweet for the idea.  Will post later.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

All the Time, Right?

Here's what caught me today from Luke's Gospel, out of the Jerusalem Bible.  "Anyone who follows me should renounce himself and pick up his cross daily."  It is the word daily that grabbed me.  Daily, as in every day, as in full time occupation, daily as in not just the times when I feel "holy."   It is this phrase I will carry around with me today.

We all have the crosses, in all shapes and sizes.  They are the things we have done and the things that have been done to us.  Personally, I have a good sized list of both.  They are not easy to carry.  But if we renounce and follow and bring them, the Cross becomes our cross and the load begins to lighten.  It is a way of survival.  It's not a walk in the park, but it is a walk for life.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lent (again)

There was a time when I used to greet Ash Wednesday and the days to follow with great enthusiasm. Eagerly, I would lay out my Lenten agenda, fired up with the love of The Lord, and set about my way only to crash and burn within a week.  Within two weeks I would be drifting back to my "same old used to be."  

In those days I was simply full of myself.  I thought I would do all these things for God and he would be impressed and He would be there if I needed him.  Stand back, Lord, I've got this covered.  I'll call you if I need you.   Well, I needed Him and was too embarrassed to call.

Times have changed.  I go into Lent quietly, with no expectations other than putting my sinfulness before God and seeking his healing, fully acknowledging that I am helpless and unable to clear these blockages by myself.  Some of them have been clearing nicely, others take more work, and some are like cancer, in remission only to flare up from time to time.   So how I fast, what I abstain from and how I give alms focuses around what vice needs to be cleared and what virtue needs to fill the void.  What those virtues are I'm leaving to The Lord to show me.

In the reading in the Vigils this morning, Isaiah is clear that The Lord needs another superficial sacrifice like I need another six inches of snow.  What he'd prefer instead are acts and thoughts that will clear our hearts for love.  He doesn't want us to be kiss-ups.  He wants us to be lovers.  Works for me.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


More snow is on the way.  This has been a real winter, unlike any we've had in the quarter century that we have lived here.  Don't know where I can put any more snow keeping the driveway clear, yet another six to ten inches are on the way.   It has caused havoc with just about every aspect of work, and the poor school teachers!  What a challenge they're faced with as this winter onslaught continues.

It has been a real winter, indeed.  And it has also been a beautiful winter.  There is nothing as beautiful to me as a clear, cold winter day, or night, with a thick covering of snow bathed in the winter sun or winter moon.

A storm took out a huge tree two doors down from us about two years ago.  I miss that tree in the winter.  In early mornings of a full moon, I could stand in the dark and look out the kitchen window at the full winter moon through the bare branches of that tree.

So once again we make alternative plans and make sure there's gas in the car.  But we also have another chance to admire the beauty of creation.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Morning Prayer

Reflecting on 1 Macabees  2:15-29 leads to a morning prayer.  Is it really your will I am doing Lord, or is it my will disguised as yours?