Fast from being critical of yourself. Every action, every thought, every intention we have is a gift from the Lord. Revere that gift, and accept it. Whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.
This is probably one of the most difficult aspects of spirituality for me. I have been taught to always look to myself and my actions first and to remember that if I am disturbed it is because I am not being accepting of life on life's terms.
I have also been told to stand up for justice and mercy.
Tough stuff to do - when is what is happening around you simply life on life's terms and when is it injustice and hatred that must be stopped?
Perhaps the key is in the fighting, rather than the winning. Somewhere along the way I got the idea that if I fight injustice I will always prevail because, well, I am on the side of what is right.....right?
I say, in the words of John Pinet, nay nay.....
The creeping into our society of moral relativism (the old 'what is right for YOU may not be right for ME' argument) has made fighting against injustice and standing up for what is right a much tougher thing to do. It is my belief, therefore, that the lesson to be learned is the lesson of having the courage to stand up and say "No, I do not agree with you. That is wrong. Your arguments are specious. You outlook is inward and selfish. You are offending God. You are wrong".
What do I learn from this lesson?
That the old adage popular in 12 step circles that the test of character is doing good when no one is watching is really a fallacy. The true test of character, it seems to me, is standing up and doing what is right when everyone is watching, when people call you names for doing it, when it is unpopular and politically incorrect.
There is this doddering old couple at my parish. Every Wednesday they stand and pray the Rosary outside the Abortion mill on Coffee Road, watching as adult men bring their teen age girlfriends in to kill the children they created with these children. The fallacy that teen girls are having sex and making babies with other teens is so pervasive in this stupid world of ours that when you point out to people that kids as young as 12 and 13 are being told to tell the receptionist at Planned Parenthood that the guy with them is their brother or uncle - well, it makes me sick. We scream and yell about pedophiles - priests, of course, not teachers in public schools where the REPORTED molestations are 10 TIMES what has been reported against Catholic Priests world wide - and we let this kind of disgusting raping and killing go on every day because of some misplaced idea of freedom.
Anyway, this couple, neither of whom is well and both of whom are very old, are periodically spit upon, called names and physically assaulted. Idiot boys on skate boards and radical feminists with giant distorted earlobes try to push them off the sidewalk.
All this couple is doing is prayig the Rosary. No signs, no marches, no shouting - just prayers.
Yesterday people stood outside of city hall and held up signs and rallied for Gay marriage. People fell over themselves to wave and smile at them.
Here is the deal, in my heart - if you are going to stand up for someone's right to express their opinion then those people with the signs yesterday should take turns protecting the older couple who are praying outside the abortion mill. Why? Because that is their right under the US Constitution and baby if you want me to protect YOU then you damn well better be ready to defend ME.
Today is Friday. I have a 3 day weekend ahead of me. I am so tired - someone accused me of liking being exhausted since I am 'always in that space'. Well perhaps they are right. I think I am just hanging on, trying to do the right thing, trying to build a future that will give my mother peace of mind and let me rest. Perhaps I complain of how I feel too much. I try not to say anything at work because they - E and V - are always having worse days than anyone on the planet and maybe I just don't feel as though I have people to talk to as a result.
The reality of my situation is that I only have 3 years and 10 and 1/2 months until retirement.
Unless I win the Lotto.
Is it a sin to dedicate a holy hour to winning the Lotto?
Is there a patron saint of Lotto?
I need to find this out.