Friday, September 29, 2006


I hear songs on the radio telling me to cry out to Jesus in my pain. And I do. But songs are sometimes like sitcoms: They try to resolve too much in too little space. They don't let pain be. Sometimes pain has just got to be. Some of us live with pain and will live with it for the rest of our lives. Someone loses her father or her child or her spouse - you don't recover what you lost from that kind of pain. It becomes part of you. It molds you. From that point forward you are someone changed, someone other than the person who had not experienced the pain.

We think of pain as something evil. And maybe it springs out of that darkness, but it mustn't remain there. Like the pain of labor that brings forth a child, so all pain can be. The pain in my heart, the wound on my body, the humiliation of my mind or my strength - they can become something beautiful. Christ calls us to something beautiful, something greater, something less about us and more about him. Christ calls us to suffer, to share in his suffering that we might, with him, be participants in this world's redemption.

Pain is redemptive. Suffering is purposeful. That doesn't mean we don't cry out for release - it is pain, after all. But we must find the peace of Christ in it.

Sometimes I think that to be a real Christian is to be in real pain. But that's mostly just being human.

Real pain is the death of a loved one, the rejection of family and friends. Real pain comes from being a failure at what you were sure you were meant to do. Real pain is an illness that overshadows your very life; it is bleeding. These are the kinds of things that bring pain in our lives. But pain is not the question - we have pain. What will we make with our pain?

Some lie wrecked upon mountains too high to climb. Their souls bleed out of them because what they thought was the thundering voice of the Almighty turned out to be the voice of a crossed carpenter stumbling into Jerusalem. (But they cannot tell the difference when they hear the call - they can only choose whether to heed it.)

Persevere. Christ is in the pain; Christ is born out of it.


Do not be afraid.

Love your enemies. Pray for them.

Monday, September 25, 2006

A Little Trollope

I picked up a novel tonight. It's my first novel in forever. I've been reading a lot of theology lately. And, frankly, I need a break from all the preaching. I've gotten to the point where I can only read a paragraph before falling asleep. So I picked up The Warden by Anthony Trollope. The Warden - slim for a Victorian novel at 160 pages - is the first of his Barchester novels.

I'm looking forward to it, having never read it. I saw it on the floor of my girls' room and figured they probably weren't working their way through it.

Trollope started churning out novels when he was in his late 30s. (The Warden, his first successful novel, was published when he was 40.) He would write between the hours of 5:30 and 8:30 before going to work at the post office. He averaged 1,000 words per hour during that time. That's roughly four typed, double-spaced pages per hour - twelve pages total every morning before work. And that's without MS Word or, I might add, a typewriter. He wrote with *gasp* a pen. I know, seriously postal.

Trollope thought that the most important thing a writer should have was a piece of "sticking plaster" (adhesive) with which to fasten one's pants to a chair. I probably need to write that above my computer. Or on my chair.

Anyway, looking forward to the little novel and getting myself into Story again. Looking forward to Trollope inspiring me.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Awkward Silence

He runs through his blogroll looking for something interesting. Quite frankly, a lot of you people out there are simply disappointing him. "Write!" he would yell, but for the great branchy limb hanging out of his own eye.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Tit for Tat

Little teeth, little mouth, little bite - caterwauling ensues. The biter is back in town. I'm not sure why the boy has taken up biting this week. But he's bitten the yellow-haired child twice. He's bitten Annie once. He tried biting me today, while laughing. I told him in no uncertain terms that I would bite him back, slowly removing his too-near mouth away from my left nipple.


Friday, September 15, 2006

The Darndest Things: The Series (a.k.a. my life)

In profound irony, our Willow Tree "Angel of Learning" figurine lost her head this morning. The Raccoon threw it on the floor, busting it off.

I swear I need to duct tape this child down; if I leave the room to take a pee he begins his pillaging. And - Free Fun Fact #118 - it doesn't take me long to pee. Anyone else have children like this? (No wisecracks, Mom.)

Anyway, as I was cleaning up the angel within the puddle of water that he had also spilled onto the floor, I muttered it: "We can't have anything nice around here."

The yellow-haired child, who was beside me - conversing with my angry mutterings (another reason to rein in the cussing) - shook her head and said, "Nope, we can't have anything nice."

Some, like, Heady Stuff, Dude

(Fr) Al Kimel, over at Pontifications, has a couple of good articles on Catholicism up. (He always has something interesting and intellectually stimulating on his blog.) Just go on and link to the site if you haven't yet. Go on, I'll wait.

There are three contributors at Pontifications: (1) Alvin Kimel (the Pontificator) is a former Episcopalian priest of 25 years, and was received into the Catholic Church in 2005; (2) Fr. Stephen Freeman, an Orthodox priest, is also a former Episcopalian priest; and (3) Michael Liccione, a cradle Catholic, holds a PhD in Philosophy.

A couple of articles (I'm playing catch-up) I enjoyed reading this morning: "Who Are God's Favorites?" and "Why Do I Remain in the Church?" (by Hans Urs von Balthasar, 1972). Check them out.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Quick Note

Though I have been busy with some freelance work, I finished it last night. I hope to pick up on more regular posting here later today or tomorrow. At the very least, I'll try not to leave up a post with cussin' in the title for nearly a week.

Besides freelance work, I've had the oldest home feverish, since Tuesday. She's a trooper though, and seems to be pulling out of it. So far no one else has gotten sick.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


The fam and I were in a McDonald's Drive-Thru today (killing them softly) before church; we were about an hour early due to the general incomprehensibility of time-measuring devices as well as going to a later Mass. While waiting in line, we saw a sign telling us to turn off our cell phones. In the top corner of the sign was a little no-cell-phone symbol and above it, in small letters, was the following:

Bikers Against Dumbass Drivers"

And I was like, what the... this is a McDonald's sign (with the McDonald's logo) that has the B.A.D.D. logo on it! Blew me away. I mean, for the love of all the children of the world!

Anyway, I filed a complaint with the manager, whose exact response was, "Nuh-uh?!" or something like it.

I need to start keeping my camera with me in my pimped miniVANilla. Fo' shizzle.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Church-Sign Theology

A couple of churches in our area are getting out the Good News with the following message on their signs:

Stop, Drop, and Roll
Doesn't Work in Hell

Friday, September 01, 2006

Long Weekend

Laura skipped out the door today: No kids waiting at school to be taught, none to take with her.

I dumped myself out of bed because the Raccoon was crying for want of a bracelet. And then for "see-yohl."

I don't know what all the fuss is about these long weekends - they just seem like more work to me. I'm going to have to pack them into the Mini Moto Box and let them run around a Chick-fil-A for an early lunch. (Do they serve lunch at 8 a.m.?)