It is Better to Suffer for Doing Good than for Doing Evil

Since hearing this in a homily it manifested into a maxim of sorts. When I have a moral decision to make and my lack of virtue is apparent it comes in handy. Choosing the good comes easily when you have the virtue. You don’t have to think about it, you just do it. It is a skill. When virtue is lacking you may start to negotiate internally. You wane or waver over the moral choice.

This is where the maxim comes in. I remind myself that it is better to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. It has helped a lot because when we lack virtue we are going to suffer in some way depending on our choice. When that virtue gets built up we can choose the good without feeling it as suffering or loss on our part. This concept takes a little getting used to. Below I toss off two examples from my own life to clarify. Continue reading “It is Better to Suffer for Doing Good than for Doing Evil”

A First Grade Lesson

The holiday season, a time to be thankful, a time to count blessings, a time to be with family and friends and a time to prepare ourselves for the birth of Jesus. For whatever reason this year I have had a harder time preparing my heart for all that is about to happen this year. Maybe it is all that negative that is all over the television set. Maybe it is just the stress that sometimes comes as the Dad of 4 active boys.

I have done a lot of reflecting about the holidays lately and I think part of my struggle is wanting to make the holidays for my boys something I never really experienced. Holidays as a kid were not important. I don’t really remember celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas was usually just Christmas Eve at my Grandma Norman’s house eating Pizza Hut and drinking punch (although I do love the punch and we make it every year now). Gifts were sparse, family time was nonexistent and church was a complete unknown. The term Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas were just words. Continue reading “A First Grade Lesson”

To all the other Mice and Men

The 18th century poet Robert Burns famously wrote in “To a Mouse”;

“But Mouse, you are not alone, In proving foresight may be vain: The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry, And leave us nothing but grief and pain, For promised joy!”

This poem would later be the inspiration for a novel more of us may be familiar with, John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. A quote the regular readers of this blog may be more familiar with, “If you’re ever looking for a joke to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” This is not necessarily a “feel good” blog post, but is meant for those who find themselves wandering in their own metaphorical wilderness.

Continue reading “To all the other Mice and Men”

Seasons Past

As we look back onto the Lenten season, one of the aspects of our faith that was pulled off the trophy rack for its annual dusting was fasting and abstinence. Today many of us grumble at the one Wednesday and seven Fridays the Church requires us to fast and abstain a year. For some it is such a foreign concept, that it takes one or two Fridays into Lent to remember the routine. This usually is pictured in the accidental eating of hamburger pizza at the monthly staff birthday party or leftover chicken noodle soup. There was a time in the Church when fasting was a year-round practice. As Dan and Justin commented in one of their recent podcast, each Friday is a day of penance by obligation and prior to a few changes following the Second Vatican Council, was a binding day of abstinence as well. This was such common practice that it is allegedly the reason McDonald’s started offering the Filet-O-Fish menu item in 1962, to bring back the Catholic market share each Friday.
Continue reading “Seasons Past”

He Has Risen!

Easter Sunday (He has Risen!)

(Click the link or image above for the Gospel reading)

I thumb wrestle with myself every year when it comes to picking between Christmas and Easter as my favorite spiritual season.  They both provide me with inspiration, spiritual growth, a renewed sense of hope, and a lot of reflection on who I’ve been and who God calls me to be.  This weekend marks the end of the most magnificent life in the history of humankind and the beginning of eternal salvation for all of us.  Below are some questions to reflect back on Lent and toward Easter Sunday this weekend. Continue reading “He Has Risen!”

I,I, I…Me, Me, Me

Lent is here!  You really can’t miss it, nor should you.  Even if you weren’t paying attention you can’t escape all of the tell tale signs.  Ash Wednesday, the first Parish Fish Fry, stations of the cross being offered and then of course there are the great readings Holy Mother Church gives us this week on the first Sunday of the Lenten season. In the recent movement of the weekly readings we have shifted quickly from a calm loving sense of reassurance to a freezing cold bucket of ice water dumped squarely on our heads.

Hey….wake up buddy! It’s not about you!

Continue reading “I,I, I…Me, Me, Me”