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Monday, July 26, 2010

Saving the Child by Saving the Parents

I recently saw a poster advocating the vaccination of parents as a reasonable means of protecting children. Fair enough: if the parents are immune to that particular virus, then they probably won't pass the virus onto their kids. There can be other pathways to infection, but at least that from the parents is eliminated.

Are viruses the only things that parents need to worry about? What about bad habits? Crass language? Being lazy? Gossiping? Questionable fashion tastes?? Oh but there is so much more that can seem harmless enough at first glance. What are mom and dad's favorite TV shows? What do they really think about this or that issue? What is their attitude towards this or that ethnic group? Do we drive safely and legally?

And what about faith and morals?

It was only in becoming a father that I was truly challenged to be a disciple of Christ. If I want that of them, then I must be a good one myself. If I am truly convinced that Christ is the Way, Truth and Life, then I should want that of them.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Few are needed

‘Martha, Martha,’ he said ‘you worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one. ..’

While I don't want to give the Enemy too much credit, I have occasionally mused on how easy his job can be sometimes. Assuming that it happens to be to cause us harm (and in effect, to cause pain to our Heavenly Father), it seems to me that he can do a lot of damage simply by distracting us.

This reminds me of the junk-carrying lady in the movie Labyrinth, whose heroine was close to defeat .. by distraction. She was on her way to the heart of the Labyrinth in order to save her brother, but there was a deadline. Bad enough that she must weave her way through a labyrinth, then her search is interrupted by the junk lady, loading her up with trinkets, toys and baubles, objects that held some value to her from childhood. Soon enough, with her arms and back beginning to overflow, she oddly starts resembling the junk lady herself! In the meantime, dwelling on sentimentality as she hugs old toys and other little treasures, her time begins to run out.

A recent podcast from Catholic Answers Live, with guest Jeff Cavins, drove home this point for me when I heard it a few days ago. In God Has a Plan for You, host Patrick Coffin and his guest talked briefly about the distractions that are now truly pervasive in this century. So many online distractions: Facebook, Twitter, email, etc. Many things in our lives are not of themselves bad. Even toys serve good purposes .. when we were kids. Social networking and online utilities serve communication purposes, which can be a good thing.. but it can also become a bad thing. Do we really need to know if someone just made a ham sandwich? In the meantime, while we stay connected online, what are we missing out on?

Is it true that if we found ourselves with one free hour of peace and quiet, no scheduled activity, just by ourselves, then we would not know what to do? Do we really need to entertain ourselves in every waking hour? Always plugged into the iPod? Always checking our email?

Jeff Cavins asked a few penetrating questions in that CAL episode: (paraphrased) will we continue on this path at break-neck speed, never pausing to consider what exactly it is that we should be doing? Will we ask that question when we've only four years left to live? Are we simply entertaining ourselves continuously as if we're simply holding on until this is all over?

Is this it?

‘Martha, Martha,’ he said ‘you worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one. ..’
-- from today's Gospel reading in Luke 10:38-42

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Catholic Answers Live needs your help

I'm a member of their Radio Club, and I know how valuable their ministry is. Please consider this appeal on their behalf:

Today is the last day of the (US) fiscal year.
Please help [them]
end it in the

[They] only need a few more thou$and to make it happen . . . even small amounts make a big difference.

God bless you for considering this request.  If you can’t donate now, please continue to pray for Catholic Answers Live and for the people [they] reach each day!


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