Thursday, August 25, 2011

What am I doing here?

How did I get involved?  And why?
Yesterday I got another email from a concerned parishioner to a priest who isn't her pastor - somehow I got on her email list.  It was the second such email in a matter of weeks, so I promptly replied asking to be removed from her mailing list.  At one point in her life, the lady was some sort of whistle blower in the pro-life movement.  Evidently today she remains an activist-watchdog member of what I loosely term the Catholic Lay Inquisition, which includes the amateur liturgy police, vice squad, and ghost-buster style exorcists of cathedrals and basilicas.  I noticed on the lady's email list at least one other parish volunteer's name I recognized.  It confirmed for me that these folks are all inter-connected to one another to some degree, in addition to their alliances with many of the more legitimate organizations serving the archdiocese.  These folks are undoubtedly well intentioned, but sometimes the independent actors on the fringe can become a little over-zealous.  Meet the lady who emailed me.
I first became acquainted with several of these types after working as a manager in a Catholic bookstore.  Before then I was able to avoid getting involved with most of the 'more Catholic than the pope' types and other Catholic special interest groups - something very difficult to do when one works in a Catholic environment.  This is one reason why I avoid joining groups - call me a snob - but it has nothing to do with imagining myself better or more stable than anyone else.  Much to the contrary - evidence suggests I am all too easily sucked into that mindset and get myself embroiled in issues completely out of my control or responsibility.  The passive effects of a toxic culture.  I cringe at some of the judgements I've made in the past - even before I began the blog.
Recently, simply through my involvement in the adoration program at my parish, I've been introduced to a couple of rather eccentric spiritual people, one of whom tells me about his revelations and the evils of the age and how they have infiltrated into the surrounding parishes, and so on.  I have to say I find all of that a complete distraction and a senseless agitation - especially when discussed in sanctuary of the church.  Likewise I found myself on this lady's email list because of other conspiracy theorists I've encountered who have interacted with her.  Small world.  But I digress.
Often these types remind me of Paul's Letter to the Thessalonians regarding the idle:
We command you , brothers, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, to avoid any brother who wanders from the straight path and does not follow the tradition you received from us.  You know how you ought to imitate us.  we did not live lives of disorder when we were among you, nor depend on anyone for food.  Rather we worked night and day, laboring to the point of exhaustion so as not to impose on any of you.

We hear that some of you are unruly, not keeping busy but acting like busy bodies. -2 Thes 3:6-12
I'm not disparaging those who actually do have church related jobs, or work and volunteer in parishes, join third orders and confraternities,  nor am I making fun of faithful people striving to live a devout life who are perplexed by the troubles afflicting the Church as well as the moral and ethical problems of our age.  I'm just saying I try to stay out of the fray and the infighting that takes place - remembering Lot's wife and all.
And yet I blog.  I know!
My very wise friend from far, far away is right - I bring it all upon myself.  Yet now you know what I think of that, and perhaps that is excuse enough for why I blog?  Not just to work through stuff - but to find out what I think of it all.   "Writing helps me think."  Pope Benedict actually said that once.   


  1. God bless you Terry.

    There's so much I've "learned" from those types that I wish I could unlearn and just be obedient to my spiritual director.

    I'm so sick of it. There ate things I worry about constantly that I should never even think about.

  2. Terry:

    Thanks so much for being a breath of fresh air. You give my heart joy.

  3. Mercury, I will say a prayer for peace for your mind tonight. You are a good soul, it shines through your words. Jesus must love you very much. He chooses to keep you close to His side, in Gethsemane for now. Pray the sorrowful mysteries tomorrow, enter into Christ's own Passion, with your pain, willingly, if you can. He will transform it, I promise. Pray this surrender prayer more than once. God love you. Your humility truly helps me believe in His kindness for some reason.

  4. Shadowlands, thank you. I'm going to Mass right now. I'll remember you.

  5. Terry--I sure do appreciate you blogging about things I have barely time to think about much less write about..

    My fall class is going to be a grind and I just got hammered with several "clean-up" type projects at other words fix up previous projects that did not get documented fun..

    Am thinking of you guys on the East Coast with Hurricane Irene heading your way..God Bless and you're in my safe.


  6. Terry:

    When I go back to Michigan this fall, should I try and go out to dinner with Larry?

    Who should pay? Dutch?

    Not sure how these things work in the blogosphere.

    Also, I am part of some of that in my parish now, problem is for me: MEDJ... I cant say it. Sorta like Beetleju.... Anytime it comes up, I freak out and try and hit the eject button. I am intellectually lazy when it comes to the subject and just dont want to get sucked in to investigating it all. I have other things I can do... like reading.

    Sorry my posts are so random on your blog. There aren't many people to talk to up here about the faith... cept about Medju..... you know.

  7. Terry - whomever likened your blog to the show "Cheers" was dead on. It's a place where you just never know what is on the discussion menu.

    Thought-provoking post, done cutely, as always.

  8. "- whomever likened your blog to the show "Cheers" was dead on. "

    The person who said that truly believed they were employed here at one point, as a bartender. That would have been OK, Terry has always welcomed the peculiar, but this person took advantage, they drank the place dry.

  9. What I like about the Terry's blog is you just don't know what you're gonna get when you come back. Maybe a better analogy is that it reminds me of the kind of ordinary chat we might strike up when hanging out.

    Many who hang out here don't necessarily agree with Terry or each other on everything. There's an interesting mix of readers, agreeing together on something one day, then having it out the next.

    I don't have time to comment on all the blogs I follow, but following Abbey Roads is sometimes as interesting as that old pass time of people watching at the mall.

  10. I think other people at my parish think I (and my husband who is employed there as the organist) are over-zealous, liturgical police types. To them I say, ha! You should have met me when I was eighteen--I've mellowed since then.

    After working in several parishes, and listening to my hubby gripe when he comes home from work, I've lowered my standards a lot. New standard: please just don't preach outright heresy or let the lay staff interfere with the priests doing their duty. Unfortunately they can't manage even that.

    At least no one has complained about my mantilla. Right?

  11. My google account wouldn't work just now so I used Name/URL - but same Diane as above.

  12. Terry, I just love it when you say it as it is! You make me smile.

  13. There Pope BXVI goes being all holier than the pope again.

    But you see if everyone were to just think like me, the world would be a perfect place.... Alright, alright, I'll remove you from my conspiracy distribution list, they are watching you anyway.

  14. Terry;

    Sometimes it really helps to avoid eye contact.

    I swore off joining things years ago, embraced hermithood, and have stayed out of the fray (mostly) ever since.

    I actually think blogging is an excellent activity for hermits. We were built for community, after all.

    When I get too close to the folks with prickly edges in real life, I find myself muttering, "I could be a saint if it wasn't for all these dang people!"

  15. Anonymous7:18 AM

    "I'm just saying I try to stay out of the fray and the infighting that takes place - remembering Lot's wife and all."

    This is poppycock because you:

    "And yet I blog. I know!"

  16. Mr.Terry, I know your nutty but I still like you anyway. I know you struggle with your temper on occassion , though I often find you hilarious when your mad about something, I like you anyway. If we only liked perfect people we would have no blogger buddies or friends in our lives, believe me I KNOW. Some of the people who love me, do so because they have to. hahahaha


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