After all the Masses, after all the travel, after all the turkey is digested – I have to admit to having mixed feelings about Thanksgiving.
- I’m thankful for the Cross of Jesus Christ.
- I’m grateful for my Priesthood and the Church.
- I love my family.
- I’m very thankful for the many blessings and graces I experience in this life.
- I absolutely love my work here at St. Jane Parish, and the many, many, many marvelous people with whom I’m able to meet, to share, to pray.
- I love living on the Northshore
- I love my friends here, and all over the world.
- I struggle with my family life in a broad sense in that there is some mental illness involved, and the ripple effects are difficult to deal with all of the time.
- I still struggle with my niece’s death; I’ve been working several times a week to help my brother get situated in a stable situation, which is at last and at least stable for this year. Now, after passing the baton on that, it’s allowed me the emotional room to sit with the emotions involved, and to consider her children more.
- Her children don’t know me, I’m just the uncle priest who shows up now and again – mainly because everytime I’m in town I’ve been helping my brother get settled. So I’m never really able to show up. And her children don’t really see each other right now.
- Family. Emotions. Struggle. We all go through it to a degree. I’m sad I don’t have a better relationship with some of my family. I’ll have to step away from some of my obligations with others to be more present to them.
- I’m thankful for that realization.
- I have struggles with the current situation in the Church. Through a random dial flip on el radio I started listening to someone who turned out to be Joel Olsteen on Sirius XM the other day and I’ve listened on and off whilst driving for a few days. I know – people will complain about the “prosperity Gospel,” Protestantism, etc. (Yes, I know.)
But Leo XIII does talk about the fact that leading a Christian life, and thereby growing in virtue, will predispose one to lead a better life and a more prosperous life. See Rerum Novarum. Of course I’m not leaving the Faith, and of course I realize what’s meant when people talk about “the prosperity Gospel.” But the idea is not totally without merit.
Overall it’s more refreshing to listen to someone speak about the Gospel and the stories of the Old Testament, and explain them in a faithful way, than it is to listen to a dried up faithless man explain that the creation and maintenance of a culture of child abuse in the Church is a non-issue and we need to pay more attention to climate change and immigration, and not be so triumphalistic and filled with clericalism.
I can’t blame people for being disillusioned and leaving the Faith, given what the Church has handed on to them. Jesus may not have mentioned abortion by name, but I don’t recall him mentioning climate change, immigration and gender identity by name either.
Is there any hope for these situations? Is there any hope for life? Woe is me.
Is there any hope for my life, my retirement accounts, the stacks of paperwork I’m slowly but surely clearing out of my life forever? Why bother, I tell you?!
Of course, there is. Salvation is from the Lamb – and from the word of their testimony.
With all of that being said, Happy Thanksgiving! It’s a beautiful holiday and a great feast.
The picture of the pipe organ up above is triumphant. It’s not a great picture – an iPhone photo from Spain just prior to the Camino de Santiago, all blurry and fuzzy. We all need a sense of triumph in our lives, no matter how fuzzy; it’s in our spirits no matter what a faithless generation has to tell us.
And in Thanksgiving Football, the Bears ended up with – well, a little dance. <pained-emoji.gif>
I’ll leave it at that.
When in Motown. #DaBears https://t.co/XSqEiOgKub