Sunday, June 06, 2010

Pious thoughts for Sunday morning...

Random too.
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Sparked by an earlier post this week, I've been thinking about men's spirituality - how men might use their imagination at prayer.  I thought of St. Peter at the Transfiguration, John at the last supper - which gay people attempt to eroticize, or at least romanticize.  Then I thought of my little brother.  Once, when he was about 4 or 5 years old, while I was babysitting him (as usual), he began annoying me and I think I kept yelling at him to stop whatever it was he was doing - until he pushed me too far and I must have said something very harsh - either to scare him or make him feel really bad, and I'm sure I threatened to slap him as well.  Just before I could, he pushed himself onto me, wrapped his arms around my neck and said, "Oh Terry, I love you!  I'll behave."  He melted my heart - the anger disappeared immediately, and I hugged him and told him everything was all right.  I think that is one way for men to imagine themselves with Christ.  Like a little kid, hugging their brother, their dad.  Nothing romantic - just pure love.  I don't know - it is all very subjective I suppose.
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I met a saint last night.
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Last evening after Mass, while waiting to speak to Father, a rough looking character came up to introduce himself to me.  His hair was growing out from a shave, he was dressed rather scruffy, although he seemed fresh and clean.  He told me his name and that he had been sober now for x number of months, but added that he falls off the wagon now and then.  I told him I quit drinking too, and unexpectedly he asked me how long I'd been sober.  I actually just quit drinking for Lent and decided I would make it a lifestyle adjustment afterwards.  I love to drink, but it wasn't as if I got drunk every time I had a drink - of course I didn't tell him that.  I just told him I quit drinking. Nevertheless, I congratulated him on his sobriety, after which he explained to me he also had a head injury, which may have accounted for his simplicity.  He showed me the crucifix around his neck and his rosary and it occurred to me he looked very much like St. Joseph Labre.  I worried I gave him the wrong impression in my effort to empathize by quipping "I quit drinking too!"  I realized how condescending and patronizing I had been... and worse, I excused myself as Father approached us because I was more interested in talking with him.  I felt really guilty... 
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I'm no better than that guy.  He's better than me - he reminded me of the passage, "This is the one I approve, the lowly and afflicted man who trembles at my word."  He clutched his crucifix and rosary as he left us and said, "This is why I'm sober - I couldn't do it alone."  The man's name is Kevin - please pray for him, and pray for me too.  In my secret thoughts I keep thinking I'm better than others.  I'm not.
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Once in a vision Our Lord bade John of the Cross to ask any favor of him and he would grant it - John asked, "To suffer and be despised."  He had to ask for the grace because it is completely against nature to want to suffer and be despised.
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That's all.

4 comments:

  1. I had a similar experience on friday in new york. I was with my daughter eating pizza in a pizza place. I heard a young man talking very loudly to a group of Asian girls, who hurried their meal, obviously to get away from him, and quickly left. The poor guy stayed in his seat looking utterly dejected. He obviously was not "right" in his head. Maybe a head injury. Or perhaps some severe form of mental illness, I am not a good judge of that stuff. I kept him in the side of my eyesight, afraid to make eye contact with him. It was just myself and my daughter, I felt vulnerable. After some time, he started rocking in his chair, totally lost in his own world. Soon, though, a smile came across his face, and he started giggling. I thanked God for relieving him of his depression and rejection. But I was afraid to do more.

    He's been in my thoughts and prayers ever since. I am sure he is a much better person than I am in the eyes of God. May God help all those souls in need. And may He have mercy on the cowards like me.

    I will pray for your Kevin. Please pray for my, let's call him, "Raja", since he was of Indian descent.

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  2. Love these types of stories....

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  3. I should have added, Kevin was like an apparition of Christ to me last night.

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  4. Thank you sharing this with us, Terry.
    Jesus is everywhere; Jesus is everything.
    He comes to us in such hidden ways, sometimes in very unlikely ways.

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