I am trying a new look to the Blog. No particular reason for doing so. I just wanted a change. Change is good, sometimes, and sometimes change is simply our way of warding off boredom, stress or throwing a tantrum
For instance, who can blame Liam Neeson for smoking again? Certainly not I (said the little red hen). I picked up cigarettes again after an 11 year hiatus shortly after my Roddy died...no, not a person, a dog. The greatest Scottish Terrier known to mankind. He had been my little fur angel, a gift from God that had gotten me through the toughest times of sobriety when I had made one of those IDIOTIC decisions and had only myself to blame.
It was one of those decisions, fueled by loneliness and ego and a heady dash of lust that finally propelled me back firmly into the arms of Holy Mother Church. So while I am still always a bit chagrined whenever I think about giving myself (and my hard earned money) to a conman, I cannot help but think about how stupid decisions like the one I made can end up being a blessing in disguise.
So I lost my money and my peace of mind and then I lost my beloved pet and you know what? I had always told myself that if it ever came down to picking up a cigarette, a bag of chocolate donuts or a drink...guess what? I'd be a smoking fat woman before I would be a nicely shaped drunk.
In Mass today we will hear about the idiotic, lust-fueled, ego driven decision King David made when he killed Uriah just so he could have his wife. Nathan laid it out pretty plainly for KD - Look at everything you were given and once again, all because you think what you feel is more important that what is right, the sword is never going to be far from your House.
He might as well have added, "You big dummy".
I remember when I came Home to Rome after that horrible year of "Oh I bet THIS will make him really LOVE ME" only to find out that my handsome yet tortured Vietnam Veteran had never set foot in southeast Asia (let alone been in combat), I sad sobbing in the Confessional and asked, "How could I have been so stupid?".
And the priest answered, "How could you have been anything else? When we stop trusting God to take care of us, we are bound to trust only ourselves...and that is a really poor decision to make".
Which was a nicer answer than what I got from my sponsor. All she said was, "I don't KNOW" and then cried with me.
St Paul wrote (and we will hear this today too) that what makes a man righteous is not obedience to the Law (meaning the old covenant) but faith in Jesus Christ. I recognize that St Paul is writing about Faith in what Jesus Christ taught, not just an acknowledgement that He is God and is Our Savior. We have, he wrote, been crucified with Him and that means to me that I have to not only strive to put on the mind of Christ but I have to be willing to follow all His teachings....including those which cause me to feel cut off from the rest of the world. To be lonely at times, to be isolated from what the modern culture tells me I have to have/be/do/look like in order to be considered a Real Woman.
Instead, I rejoice in the fact that the Son of god loves me and sacrificed Himself for ME...and what an incredible gift that is, considering all I have done in my life to ignore it.
Maybe, like today's Gospel reading, I can be like the woman with the Alabaster jar of ointment....
So who cares if Liam Neeson is smoking again. The man lost the love of his life, has two boys to raise and obviously needs to do something.....and while I pray that people like Liam find their way to God I know how awful that ache can be....and sometimes, at the beginning of a journey Home, a cigarette is just what is necessary to start the climb.