The New Evangelization.
Jim Gaffigan has a new TV show coming out. You can watch the first episode for free online, it's pretty funny. There's an interview with Jim and his wife, Jeannie, about how they integrate their Catholic faith with the show. I also heard Jeannie on Catholic Answers Focus, which is a podcast. I think the Gaffigans are good at presenting their faith as a reality of their life, without being preachy or weird religious types. Yes, they have tons of kids, but they live in New York City, and they are not out of touch with society. He is known as being a "clean" comic, but he's still funny. I think they do a good job of walking the fine line between actually funny and authentically "family friendly." Usually, family friendly is code for not as funny Christian comedy, but I think they break the mold. I don't want to hold them up as poster children, especially if that's not what or who they want to be (the free episode of his show somewhat addresses this). They are just living their lives, but I appreciate that they wouldn't change the show to be less Catholic, it's just part of their life. One take away from the article in First Things was the phrase, "We don't have that experience," when confronted with anti-Catholics or ex-Catholics. This is a way of acknowledging that it was the other person's (presumably negative) experience in the Catholic Church, and yet, that's not the experience we have had in the Catholic Church. I gotta remember that for future interactions with anti-Catholic Protestants, anti-Catholic secularists, and anti/ex-Catholics. Let them say what they have to say, and you can respond with, "That hasn't been my experience" and share what has been your experience.
I've been really hit with an onslaught of WAY too many gray hairs the last few months. I went from having some gray hairs to having at least 50/50 gray versus color at the root. I have tons of very thick hair. Coloring at the salon has been very expensive, and I don't know how I can keep that up for the next....20....or so years(?) every 4-6 weeks. I'm already older than my husband, and yes, I have a little bit of a complex about it. I was asked if I was his mother on our honeymoon...that's another story. (We are only 5 years apart.) I need to look at least reasonably in the ballpark of his age. Plus, I don't feel like someone who is old enough to have as much gray hair as I do. Coloring it myself doesn't look so great, but that's what I'm left with. Doing "root touch up" kits doesn't cut it either, as I've got to cover the whole head of hair now. I'm a brunette, so the grays really pop, I'm wondering if some of them have just skipped gray and gone straight to white. I'm not really wanting to highlight and go lighter so that the grays will blend, I want to be a brunette, but I don't know if I can pull this off. My husband has even offered to help me color my hair. He doesn't care one way or another about what my hair looks like or what color it is. This is all on me. I also heard about a powder that has some color in it for root coverup between appointments. I may give it a shot.
Getting old ain't for sissies!
Out of Touch.
My big boss at work is a little bit difficult to deal with. Partly, he triggers my issues with authority because he reminds me of my father. He's the nicest as*hole you'd ever meet. He's nice to your face, and trash talks everyone behind their back. He's extremely emotional and reactionary. He's a micro-manager. You know, all the things one wants in a great boss. ::sarcasm::
Anyway, this week he was complaining about some new construction that's about to happen near our building. It's going to change the view out of his corner office. It also might change his parking situation, which is currently a space about 50 steps from our front building door. All this complaining was done to me. My cubicle with no window, no door, and no real walls overlooks...another cubicle. My parking situation is half a mile or more away from the office, which takes 10-15 minutes to walk in weather of all varieties or 10-15 minutes to catch a bus. I'm on a waiting list that is a few years long to be in the parking lot he's complaining about.
I guess it strikes me as out of touch to complain to your subordinates about losing your office window view to some temporary construction and losing your convenient parking space temporarily so that others (like me) can eventually park closer to the building. It's like when my millionaire friends were discussing with me a couch purchase that literally cost more than my entire wedding - out of touch and not appreciated.
I have to remember that when people get under my skin like this, that I am bringing bigger issues to the table (problem with father figure/authority). Also, I am bringing somewhat of an expectation of perfection to the table. He's a flawed person. I need to spend more time in prayer about this. It's just frustrating.
My ongoing dental surgery is still not finished. I've been to three "final" appointments now. The final implant didn't fit twice, and one time my gums were still too swollen to complete the procedure. So, I'm two more weeks away from the fourth "final" appointment. I've been there 7 times now, maybe 8. It's getting really old. However, I want it done right. I've missed so much work for it that I'm now in the hole for time off. I've been really disappointed with this dentist's office. As soon as this procedure is over, I'm shopping for a new one. Just the sound of the dentist's drill sets me on edge now. I hate going there. I was hoping for some dramatic weight loss, since I haven't been able to eat on one side of my mouth for 2 months now...no such luck.
We have been hit with some major rain and bad weather lately. It reminds me of how grossly unprepared I am for such things. I was never a girl scout. We did go out and buy some bottled water and non-perishables, but seriously, what would we do if disaster struck? We depend so much on the grocery store (packaged foods) and electronic means of making our lives work (ATMs, debit cards, etc.) that I really don't know what would happen if there were a large scale problem for an extended period of time. I need to be better prepared. We dodged a bullet this time, but where do you learn such skills?
Papa Francesco came out with an encyclical about ecology, the environment, and human relations to the created, natural world this week. You can read the full text for yourself here. What strikes me as irritating is that our media and our Protestant friends need to remember that the Pope is the head of the universal church. He is not making a political statement regarding American politics. (And, is climate change disputed as a "political" issue in other countries, or just here?) He is looking at the whole picture (once again, another wonderful reminder that Catholic itself means "pertaining to the whole.") He acknowledges that we affect the natural world around us, and that our actions have consequences. We need to treat all created life, especially human life, with dignity. We cannot ignore biology (ahem, birth control and NFP) for our advantage. It will catch up to us.
Go read it for yourself. Be prepared to answer questions about papal infallibility also. There is so much confusion and twisting of words and meanings. There is so much misunderstanding of Catholic teaching, whether it be about the Pope's role or about the environment or about the Eucharist. We need to be informed and ready to explain when needed. Unfortunately, I know some fringe Catholics who regularly suggest that the Pope is the anti-Christ. This encyclical is used as an example to say he encourages pagan earth worship. Just read it for yourself and make up your own mind. If you're so concerned about a false leader, pray for him! He needs it!
Here's a nice synopsis of what the encyclical does and does not say.
Last week, I wrote about 7 reasons I remain Catholic. Elizabeth Scalia's original post, calling Catholics to answer the question, "Why do you remain?" has generated a lot of thoughtful, profound responses, very interesting to read. See for yourself by following her on Twitter or looking at her Patheos blog, and consider answering that question if it applies to you! You can also search Twitter for the hashtag #WhyRemainCatholic, to see lots of responses. I've only posted mine on this blog, so as not to link my semi-anonymous blogging to my real Twitter and online presence. But, I'm loving the discussion.
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As we end this week and enter the weekend, let us all remember in prayer the victims and families affected by the Charleston shooting, as well as our Muslim brothers and sisters, as they enter into Ramadan.
Sometimes, the only prayer that seems at all helpful in sad or desperate times is,
"Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us and on the whole world."