Tag Archives: excuses

A Letter to My Readers…

Can I be honest for a second?  My “muse” is missing, and has been for a couple weeks now.  Translation: I feel, and have been feeling, as though I just don’t have anything to say, or at least nothing worth writing down to share with the world wide web.  It’s lame; and it usually means I put off writing until late the night before, waiting for inspiration to strike, and then I usually settle on writing anything— just anything.

I know, I know.  It’s not much of a system; and you would think I’d know better by now, wouldn’t you?

So to those of you who are still reading, and especially to those that write me emails, comments, or Facebook messages the day after a post telling me that it struck a chord, I really want to say thanks.  I would have probably given up writing by now if it weren’t for you.  (But also, let’s face it—anything profound you’re getting from these posts has way more to do with God working in you than with any intentions on my part!)

If this were a real blog post, I’d probably draw from all of this some sort of conclusion about the importance of friends, or of giving words of encouragement to those we meet, or even of the dangers of procrastination, spiritual laziness, or just laziness in general.  But my muse is out for the night, so you’ll have to draw your own conclusions today :)

Oh!  One final thing: I know that the email subscriptions still aren’t working for some reason and I have been getting your emails about that.  I will assign myself the task of getting it fixed one way or another in the next week or so, but for now, any WordPress wizards feel free to contact me if you feel like lending a helping hand.

 

You Call This A Blog Post??

Business-y Items:
  1. I know the email subscription system is no longer working.  To say that I’m working on fixing it would be somewhat misleading…but I can tell you that I am working on working on getting things set up correctly.In the meantime, you can get the post updates sent to your phone via twitter (and I only use it for post updates, so you won’t be getting spammed all day with me telling you what I just ordered at Starbucks—but if you’re curious, it was probably a White Chocolate Mocha).  OR just remember that I post on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7am Pacific Standard Time.
  2.  Just because I’m excited: As of two days ago, the church and the reception venue are officially booked for the wedding on December 22nd of THIS YEAR!  331 days, people.  331 days. :)

Back on topic…only to tell you that I really have no topic.  It has just been one of those weeks that leaves me needing a break from the world of comment boxes and the Internet—despite the list of post topics staring at me from the sticky note on my desktop.

So, to make up for my lack of words today, a quote from Saint Thomas Aquinas, on words, and The Word, Jesus Christ:

…since we cannot express all our conceptions in one word, we must form many imperfect words through which we separately express all that is in our knowledge. But it is not that way with God. For since he understands both himself and everything else through his essence, by one act, the single divine Word is expressive of all that is in God, not only of the Persons but also of creatures; otherwise it would be imperfect. So Augustine says: “If there were less in the Word than is contained in the knowledge of the One speaking it, the Word would be imperfect; but it is obvious that it is most perfect; therefore, it is only one.” “God speaks once” (Jb 33:14).

So… I guess God’s not a blogger.  ;)

Just for fun: pray a rosary today!  Come on. You know you’ve got 15 free minutes somewhere in your day.

A Letter of Apology (from the Flaky Friend)

Truth Time:  I can be somewhat flaky when it comes to relationships.

I’m that person you get fed up with for forgetting to call you back.  I’m also the person who had every good intention of replying to your text message this afternoon, but forgot—again.  And yeah, sometimes I’m that person who seems to fall off the face of the planet for a week at a time when I have other obligations that occupy my time.

On behalf of my fellow flakes, I’d like to apologize for our behavior.  It’s not that we don’t care about you—it’s just that we’re different from you.  This would all make a lot more sense if you would just take some time to sit down with me and consider a blank white sheet of paper. (Trust me)

When you see a sheet of blank paper, you think it’s pretty boring.  You’re eager to write all over it, doodle in the margins, and, if you have the time, fold it into an origami duck—just to see if you can.

I, on the other hand, see a white sheet of paper and stare at it for a good five minutes.  It may be kind of boring—but look how white it is!  The minute I put a marking on it, its innate whiteness will be ruined forever!  Fold it?  Are you crazy?  You can’t unfold a fold!

Sometimes I find myself thinking like this when it comes to relationships.  When I finally realize that staring at the whiteness of paper (or trying to nurture a friendship without communication) is something that crazy people do, I set out to create my masterpiece—but not without being very, very careful.  There’s no room for mistakes in a masterpiece, right?  Then, inevitably (because of a silly little thing called human nature), I end up messing up something along the way.  And I’d sooner wait for a new blank sheet of paper (or another friendship) to appear than deal with the ugly smudge mark that trying to erase my mistake would surely leave.

What you call being flaky, us flakes often think of as trying to preserve as much of the pristine whiteness that still remains on the paper.  Sure, there may be some cool drawings already on the paper, but isn’t it better for the paper to be empty (boring as that may seem) than to be filled with smudges or scratched out mistakes?

The truth that people like me don’t often take enough time to consider, is that no man can create a perfect masterpiece, but the talented artist knows how to weave even his most embarrassing smudges into his final work.

That’s an intimidating venture for people like me—which is why we are particularly thankful that we have people like you in our lives.  You pull us out of our flakiness, and aren’t afraid to tell us we’re crazy for staring at blank white sheets of paper.  So please, on behalf of flakes everywhere, don’t give up on us.  :)

Article first published as A Letter of Apology (from the Flaky Friend) on Technorati.

“I’m not hurting anyone”

I think somebody dropped the ball on teaching “The Golden Rule”.

Everyone knows what it says: we are supposed to treat others in the way we would want to be treated.  So simple, so clear, and it seems to cover all the bases.

However…

Somewhere along the line, it seems to have turned into meaning that, so long as you are not doing something with the intention of harming someone else, what you are doing is perfectly fine.  At least that’s how Ben Harper seems to interpret it…

my choice is what I choose to do
and if I’m causing no harm
it shouldn’t bother you
your choice is who you choose to be
and if you’re causin’ no harm
then you’re alright with me

How can you argue with that logic?  He uses these lyrics specifically to justify smoking pot, but we often see this exact logic employed to justify all sorts of things: from drinking with the intention of getting drunk, to cheating on a test, to sleeping around, etc.

Hey, we’re not hurting anyone.  So why make such a fuss?

Well first of all, as Catholics, we don’t believe something is a sin just because it hurts our neighbor.  Ultimately, sin is sin because it hurts us—by harming our relationship with God.

And even putting aside religion for a moment, as human beings we need to realize something….

“The Golden Rule” presupposes that you have a certain love of self.  If it didn’t, it wouldn’t make much sense.  We don’t often like to talk about loving ourselves because we think it sounds selfish or shallow.  But I’m not talking about the kind of self-love you have after watching a Julia Roberts movie that makes you want to abandon your responsibilities, travel the world, and “find yourself”.  I’m talking about real love of self—a love that isn’t satisfied with mere fleeting pleasures; a love that seeks, and works for, the good in everything.

The thing is, when we get to the point of realizing this kind of love in ourselves, we also realize that we can’t really be neutral in our actions.  Whether we want it to or not, every action of ours will either work for the good or for the detriment of the world around us.  Because we live in the world, and if the end we seek is the good, then anything less than that is beneath us (read: not good, or bad).

It’s a tall order…but it’s better than trying to “just get by”.

Heart Like Mine

“I heard Jesus He drank wine
And I bet we’d get along just fine
He could calm the storm and heal the blind
And I bet he’d understand a heart like mine”

When a popular song mentions the name of Jesus, my ears tend to perk up a little.  There are so many misconceptions about who Jesus is and what Jesus is about, that I always fear the worst.  And while I am by no means anywhere close to the final authority on all things Jesus and all things Christian, when I heard Miranda Lambert’s Heart Like Mine a few months back, I still listened carefully.

[If you’re not a fan of a ‘twangy country music voice, you may not like the song.  So you can find the lyrics here :) ]

What I love about this song is that she points out something Christians and non-Christians do often overlook. Jesus is not just some figure in the paintings on our walls or in our Churches.  He was (and is) a real person—a real human being.  This means that He laughed.  It also means He felt pain.  And since He happens to also be God, the Creator of everything including us, He knows us better than we know ourselves.  So He knows our pain, our joys, and our sufferings—deeper than we do.

Jesus loves us with a perfect and lasting love.  As my theology professor puts it, Jesus loves us just the way we are…but He loves us too much to let us stay that way.  And I think that this is where Heart Like Mine perhaps falls just a bit short on proclaiming the name of Jesus.

We’re never supposed to justify our less-than-awesome behavior by simply saying, “Jesus loves me no matter what I do.”  Of course He does, which is why He feels pain when we do things that cause us, or those around us, pain (and that’s all sin is).  He loves us so much that His desire is for us to be happy—only He doesn’t just mean, “feel good in the moment” happy.  No, we’re worth more than that to Him.  He won’t be satisfied until we are living a life that leads us to real, authentic, and lasting happiness.  And He knows that we can’t do that without obeying the Commandments, and living our lives like He lived His.

When I listen to this song, I hear a woman who has felt pain in her life, and I love that because I, like anyone, can relate to it.  And instead of pretending like everything is fine and dandy, she points to the one person she knows can understand her heart better than anyone else.  Despite my little quibbles with this song, above all, Jesus is represented as someone of hope, friendship, and even joy.  So, I guess I’m pretty okay with the use of His name in this song.  :)