Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What does it mean to follow a charism?

I have been doing a lot of pondering about what it means to follow a charism, and particularly what it means to follow the charism of Communion and Liberation, whose Fraternity I joined almost a year ago. There is a pattern I tend to repeat in my life: I say yes very quickly to Christ's call, but then have to stagger and ponder what it is I really said yes to. This was my experience becoming Catholic in the first place, and it was rough sledding for the first few years.

Paul at Communio describes the CL charism this way:

The essence of the CL charism is twofold: 1) the proclamation that God became Man and the affirmation that this man, Jesus of Nazareth, who died and rose again, is a present reality whose visible sign is communion - that is to say, the unity of a people led by the vicar of Christ - and 2) the awareness that it is only in Jesus Christ that the deepest needs of the human heart are fulfilled. CL's mission is thus the education of its members toward Christian maturity and collaboration in the mission of the Church in all spheres of contemporary life.

This simple explication captures quite well what has drawn me to CL.

What I am pondering right now is what exactly is meant by "communion - that is to say the unity of a people led by the vicar of Christ". It strikes me that at face value, this means people who are living a Catholic life. I don't want my pondering to turn into a torturing of Paul's words, but I do want to have a full understanding of what it is I supposedly follow. I have this constant need to translate and re-phrase things until I understand them with my own words and heart.

So. If Jesus of Nazareth is a present reality in this world, and the charism of CL is about experiencing this presence through unity of people led by the vicar of Christ, then what exactly does this unity look like? How do I know when I see it? What is disunity? How do I know when I see that? Is the relationship between myself and fellow CL followers different from that between myself and other Catholics who don't follow CL? And what about a person like myself who can experience feelings, attitudes of unity with Catholics whom I barely know, yet might struggle or take significant time to connect with fellow CL people who are sitting right there with me? Do these aspects of my personality even have anything to do with this definition of communion that is to mark this charism?

That's a big load of questions. The way I would answer what unity is for myself would be in a picture, if I could draw, and if I could put it into this blog. It would be a cross in the center, people walking towards the cross, there finding each other, and then facing out to bring this beautiful discover to the world.

Now, wait a second. Is that what this little diagram is supposed to mean?
I honestly don't know, but it would be my educated guess that it goes something like that. Essentially I would say that the way to unity is embracing the cross, in whatever way the cross presents itself. That's just what I've picked up from my living with Christ, not quoting Giussani. Of course, I've read so little of his writings, I couldn't quote him if I tried.

I know that when Paul speaks of the deepest needs of the human heart are met "only in Jesus Christ," this resonates with me in a huge way. And I think some of the deeper needs of the human heart have to do with how we humans relate to each other. Maybe my question here becomes, does the charism mean that the deepest needs of the human heart are met by Christ's presence experienced among us as people? In other words, do we re-translate this "the deepest needs of the human heart are met by, or through, other Catholics"? That is where I get a little panicky. It is not that I don't get that we are a sacramental Church, and that what we do to the least we do to Him (though these elements still strike me as either absolutely astounding or scandalous!). But I just want to keep what I can't help but calling in my head "the real Jesus" in the picture. Ok, so He has no hands or feet on earth but mine, but He does, in reality, have His own hands and feet, and they are in heaven. He really does exist. There is Scripture which is the Word of God, and then there is the power of the Holy Spirit active in a variety of ways. I just get a bit weirded out when it seems that a theology or spirituality could do just fine without there being a "real" Christ, or Holy Spirit, or when Christian maturity is thought to amount to our "replacing"Jesus on earth (you know, because I have an updated God message for our world). I know this is mostly residue from my various Protestant exposures, not to mention some odd Catholics I've met. But I feel the need to air the thought, just a small child needs to tell someone about the monsters in his closet; it's a real fear to me, even though I know it really isn't grounded in the reality of CL. Maybe I just need to get my Trinitarian theology more precise. Maybe I need the Holy Spirit to deal with whatever creates this panicked reaction in me.

So, my dear CL friends (I say somewhat ironically since I don't participate much in the CL blogging world and I don't hardly know any of you), if you would be so kind, please weigh in with your thoughts and feedback. Of course, anyone is welcome to do so!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

And the next bailout is....

Looks like socialized medicine is right around the corner, whether we like it or not...

From Fox Business Report, October 24, 2008

The Treasury Department is looking at ways to aid insurance companies as part of the rescue package announced earlier this month.

FOX Business Network’s Peter Barnes reported the Treasury has an internal task force looking at ways to help insurance companies. The assistance is expected to come as part of the economic stabilization legislation announced in October, since insurance companies are consider financial institutions and are thus covered under the package.

Sources told FOX Business Network that the assistance to insurance companies could be between $50 billion and $100 billion, and would be in the form of buying distressed assets. A formal announcement on the aid may not come until after the election on Nov. 4.

Like most financial institutions, insurance companies have been taking a hit on investment losses and because of their exposure to mortgages. In recent weeks, insurance companies including Hartford Financial Services (HIG: 24.30, +3.39, +16.21%) and MetLife (MET: 29.80, +1.96, +7.04%) has raised capital. Hartford raised $2.5 billion in capital from German insurer Allianz and MetLife raised $2 billion from a stock offering.

MetLife even approached Hartford about a merger, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal, though a person familiar with the matter told FOX Business that the report was incorrect and no contact between the companies regarding a merger had occurred. Both insurers declined to comment on the matter.

Separately the U.S. Department of Commerce announced Friday it launched a Web site, www.economicrecovery.gov , which is a resource for the latest information about economic issues and what the government is doing to improve the economy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Music Box

I usually get all excited about intellectual pursuits. I have to admit that lately my brain is on an intellectual vacation, or reorganization. Maybe I cannot handle one more evaluation of each political party and tortured attempts to draw out pros and cons. Maybe it is something else altogether; like a desire for real life, or mental cabin fever.

A big inspiration for me lately has been music -- my old music collection, to be exact. I went digging around looking for something last week and subsequently unearthed some great tunes that once were very much the soundtrack of my life. As such, these songs bring me something now. I want to use some gardening image here, but I'm not sure if it is more like the rich soil you find in spring where all the dead leaves were before, or if it is more like turning over the fresh dirt at planting time, or if it like a tender sprout or a beautiful, full-grown flower. Let's just say its something good, earthy, and full of life.

Here's what was in my box. Mostly Christian rock stuff: Don Francisco's The Power, The 77's Ping Pong Over the Abyss (here's a tune from it), AD's Lead Me To Reason, Carmen's Revival in the Land, Keith Green, Petra, lots of Monkees, more tapes of myself than I care to count, oh and lots of others.

One tape deserving special mention was made for me by my old friend Mike Bogdanovich. Some of his songs became standards of worship at Risen Savior Fellowship (of my pre-Catholic days), especially one setting he wrote of Ps. 103.

Bless the Lord, oh my soul
Let all that is within me bless His holy Name.
Bless the Lord, oh my soul
And forget not all His benefits

He forgives all my sins
And He heals all my diseases
He redeems my life from the pit
And He crowns me with love and compassion
He satisfies my desires with good things
So that my youth is renewed like the eagle's
This song coursed through my veins for about five years, so when I went to Japan I made sure I had a recording of this song with me. The wonderful thing about listening to Mike's worshipful songs again was that they struck me as richer and even better now than they had before, in terms of their ability to lift my soul to God in prayer. Even after I became a Catholic I used to go to the Bogdanovich's home for a Saturday night worship gathering. Just friends getting together to sing and praise God. At the time, our previously mutual fellowship had dwindled to a very small membership. Yet we "joked" (wasn't, really) that we knew there would be an area in heaven for all former members of that church to get together and praise. RSF was all about powerful worship music.

I realize this isn't just about reminiscing, though it is that to be sure. My children are listening. Yes, there is a doctrinal or theological foible here or there in my box (including in the songs I wrote myself), but I've already had some interesting conversations with my son as I try to explain concepts like "revival" or some Biblical stories that aren't common parlance. For that matter, at Mass this morning I sang what I hope is the last truly scary hymn to be allowed into missalettes. Something to the effect of "when I look at a flower, I've seen Jesus Christ." (Um... very uncomfortable... Maybe I'm just not in the mood to intellectualize that into something acceptable.)

Christian unity is a constant prayer of mine. We Christians are not perfect, and we don't always agree with each other, but the language we should all share in common is simple: Love. The love of Jesus Christ, our love for Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ's love that binds us as one.

Addendum: check out the video!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Healing Mass: Witness

A couple of weeks ago at my parish there was a healing Mass with Fr. Michael Scanlon, TOR as the main celebrant. I attended, primarily because the evening time fit my schedule best. But it was providential. Let me simply share the experience.

The fact that I was at Mass alone enabled a certain level of attentiveness and quiet for prayer that is not always the case. Oh, I don't at all begrudge having my children present at Mass, and I've finally learned not to get upset with them for being children (and how to assume potty trips into prayer, and I'm almost good at praying despite tiny percussive lip noises). But, you know, if it isn't children presenting a distraction, it will be something else, and there was that to contend with. (Children truly are excellent virtue coaches.) Despite that (use your imagination or fill in your fav), from my first moments at the Mass my spirit was ready and anticipating -- or being called to anticipation.

Now, I have heard Fr. Michael's "healing homily" before. There is nothing redundant about hearing it more than once, any more than I could imagine meeting Jesus in Galilee would have made his followers say "Oh, you again." I'd summarize his key point thusly: Jesus, who is truly present in the Eucharist, is the One who heals. Fr. Mike challenged us to realize, to have the eyes of faith to see, that we are actually and really approaching Him, the God of the Universe, in the Eucharist, and that He always has rich graces for us -- always. Because He is the Lord and not we ourselves, we may not receive what we ask for, but we can always receive what He has for us, if we but believe, and receive.

Immediately after the close of Mass, there were prayer teams available to pray with people as desired. I thought Fr. Michael's explanation of this was very beautiful: that as we had just received Jesus sacramentally, so now this was the time for the Body of Christ in the community present to minister to one another in prayer. In a way, this was so familiar and "routine," and yet it struck me in a new way. The only reason why we are any good for each other as fellow Christians is because of God's saving action in the Sacraments, in His Church.

So, there I was, still in this state of openness, but feeling somewhat suspended in a wordless void. I figured I would go to one of the shorter lines for prayer. I felt a very general sense of my prayer request: it was about communication. I couldn't phrase much more than that. But my heart began to feel moved. I began to feel God's merciful action coming to meet me in this place where I had no words. I began to cry.

It was my turn, and there I was. I approached the women and told them simply "I want to be able to talk." I was rather grateful for the first thing out of the first woman's mouth: "Lord Jesus, you know what that means." The other thought I meant I wanted to sit down and chat, but I said no, I want to take what is in my heart and run it through my mouth to another person without anything getting in the way. (Gee, and I could have just said "I want to be healed from endometriosis"! It would have been so much more straight-forward!) We exchanged a few sentences in conversation and then prayed. I left peaceful, knowing something had transpired, that Jesus had given me something, but not understanding yet what it was.

In the next couple of days, though, I found the word for what this healing was from: shame. Shame is the experience of curtailing behavior through negative thoughts and feelings about oneself. Now, the following observation is not a commentary on being quiet or introverted, because those things are not necessarily related to shame, but I know that from earliest childhood the behavior I learned to curtail out of shame the most was my speech and the movement of my heart towards others. At one point as a teenager, I constantly felt like I had to curtail my very act of living, literally. But it was only after this healing Mass that I could see how strongly shame had dominated my life. And there has been a gradual sort of healing. It had been well over 15 years since the last time I imagined falling into a giant meat grinder every time I thought about saying something important to someone. Receiving the sacrament of matrimony has been tremendously healing for me as well. One thing I know for sure though is that healing deep wounds takes a power far greater than the mere passage of time. Healing requires Jesus.

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! He truly is my Redeemer and my Ransom. He alone makes me more of myself instead of less. I am also aware that receiving healing takes one out of one's former comfort zone. There are new waters to navigate, even new skills to learn and new exercise to undertake. I guess this is why everything in this life is a journey, and never an arrival.

For good measure, here are the perfect lyrics.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Please pray for these families

Yesterday, my friend's 21 month old son was found face down in his aunt's pool.

Details. Please join in praying.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Ron Paul and My Education

There is a certain aspect to my particular humanity that I have come to understand, and, after significant on-going internal debate, have an affection for. And that is that I come at the issues of life in an other-than-mainstream sort of way. One might say I tend to see what other people do and then do something quite the opposite. A bit of a contrarian, I am. I can accept that about myself, but I have to explain, even to myself, that I don't style myself as this, I don't try to be different; it emerges from me. It is part of me.

The image that comes to mind is being at a big party, a big family gathering. Upstairs is crowded with voices and faces and animated discussion, exchange, eating, greeting. After a short time, the crowd and the din threaten to suck off my face and render me numb, so for simple self-preservation I retreat to the basement, where I find some children playing, and there I engage in meaningful conversation with the eccentric uncle who for his own reasons also ends up there.

This is how I think about my political education these last many months. Upstairs, there's a lot of talk about McCain and Obama. I cannot help but hear all about it. But I have followed a way that has helped me glimpse Christ amidst all the political stuff. I've been learning "in the basement" in the company of Ron Paul.

I learned of him about a year ago, when he was a Presidential candidate. His position on health care attracted me first. Then I realized he was pro-life and anti-war. The whole idea that he called his campaign a revolution, with LOVE in it struck me as very catchy. More recently I've watched his economic views gain great respect, because the things he warned would happened actually did.

I am not generally interested in individual politicians. But here are some reasons why I can listen to Ron Paul and learn from what he has to say. First, I see humility in him. My brother has worked for state government, and I worked indirectly with lobbyists at the state level, and these experiences (plus the eyes in my head) tell me that humility in a politician is exceptional. I see that he desires that voters educate themselves, and thus I have really heard the call to take up that task. (Even though he is no longer a contender for the Presidency, he is leading a movement to essentially change the Republican party from the grassroots up, based on education and action.) One thing I admire about his call to education is the emphasis on the need for historical context to understand what is before us today. Although I can appreciate the need for knowing what is happening how, there is a certain addictive aspect to chasing the "absolute latest" and forming our opinions accordingly. We need more than news ticker headlines and soundbytes and instant-response polling to understand the meaning of the events of our time.

There is this other thing that appeals to me viscerally about his message, and I'm not sure if I'll put it into words adequately. His supporters have formed what is called the Campaign for Liberty. I'll step out and say I feel this move for Americans to understand and embrace liberty -- freedom -- is nearly a prophetic one. I am not about being a Libertarian, although I do lean more toward that direction than Socialism. But there is a specter that I do find worth fighting against, and it is not perhaps even so much a political reality right now as it is a societal reality, and that is the specter of totalitarianism. Here, I think of this definition: the character or quality of an autocratic or authoritarian individual, group, or government.

My journey of parenting, my journey of the education of my children, my own personal spiritual journey has been greatly marked, indelibly marked by a move away from the damage of an authoritarian model. So perhaps I am very sensitive to see acceptance, welcoming, of control in the movements of society in ways that crush the human spirit and essentially block its potential for movement toward God and the good. I taught in Japan and I saw how the human spirit was somehow almost systematically crushed out of children so that their lives could be brought into societal conformity. Japanese adults, who I think felt could only vent their pain to a foreigner, often told me of the desperation this brought to their own lives.

I believe there is a corollary in our political system. I see a "big picture" that involves much of the world scrambling for someone to take control for us to make things all better. That desire, I believe, can become dangerous for our nation and for our world. We cannot resign ourselves to operate as cogs in a machine. While we need not have as our model the rugged American individualist, we do need to have strength as individuals. Otherwise, banding together becomes not "for the common good," but to the benefit, or I should say to the advantage, of those who are given power by those who feel -- who have learned to believe -- that they cannot operate in power for their own selves.

For myself, my "naru hodo" moment in writing this is to realize that it really does make me just a tad weary to find myself always attracted off the beaten path. Part of me would like to just stay upstairs and join in what is "really" going on.

But I can't, and remain loyal to who I am. This is what is "really" going on for me.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Tonight I entered the adoration chapel for my weekly holy hour, and as I beheld Jesus present in the monstrance, my heart was swept up. "You!" my heart cried. "You are here!" What beauty.

My mind went to the healing Mass I attended last night: a powerful encounter with Christ the healer. That was like the way your body remembers what a warm embrace feels like.

And I thought of my early days going to Mass. Going into Gesu's chapel for the 5:30pm Mass after work, even in the days before I had made my profession of faith and received Confirmation. I remembered the feeling of entering that simple chapel, fixing my gaze upon the tabernacle, and feeling like it was my first chance to breathe that day.

I remembered what it felt like the very first time I had been present at a Mass, as I was enveloped among my friend and his friends, who had just received Jesus in the Eucharist. It was an astounding moment because in it I realized, I knew, I was accosted by the fact, that what had just transpired on the altar was infinitely more than just words.

It was Him.

It is You!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I will NOT allow this to give me a complex!

Your result for The Presidential Capacity Test...

Chief Justice

89% Values, 63% Charisma and 88% Judgment!

“Our chief justices have probably had more profound and lasting influence on their times and on the direction of the nation than most presidents.” - Richard M. Nixon

Not this time. Let's face it. You're little too stuffy to make it to the top. Maybe you stutter, or maybe you're just not pretty enough - either way, the American public's not ready to have you stammering and muttering your way through press releases in front of the entire world.

You've got the credentials and you've got strong values, but your face is probably better suited in the Supreme Court. Hell, Chief Justice is one of the most prestigious positions there is. Your integrity and strong judgement makes you perfect for the role. We'll leave you to deal with all the legal mumbo jumbo and paperwork.

Other possibilities:


Take The Presidential Capacity Test at HelloQuizzy

Monday, October 06, 2008


Thanks to Rachel and her new favorite site despair.com I bring you a few catchy "demotivators."

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Lost in Translation

Today our town had a Life Chain. I had another obligation, but the rest of my family participated. I couldn't help but think about one of the first Life Chains in which I took part. It was a cold and grey afternoon and a sharp wind bit at us as we stood along one of the main highways in Milwaukee. I was with my "fellows" from Risen Savior Fellowship, and we were intent on praying against the evil of abortion, and doing spiritual warfare for the hearts and minds of passersby. A woman not of our group turned to me after one fierce gust of wind and, shivering, said "This is a good penance, isn't it?"

I don't know what my face looked like in response to her, but I felt like I'd just seen a green faced person with three heads. Penance? What are you -- one of those Catholics who think God loves us to be miserable?

We may think or speak of our prayer or action differently, but let us all -- Christians, people of faith and people of good will -- respect life and work to bring that respect to all the world's vulnerable.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Twenty-Five Year Old Rant

I wrote a lot of songs in my teens and early 20s. I've had one bit of one of them ringing through my mind quite often recently in light of recent political messages I've heard and read. Consider that I was all of 15 when I wrote this, and was all intense about social hypocrisy, including that in my own life...

Falsehoods floating in an aluminum can
Smoking cigarettes, promote the nuclear ban
Thinking humanly won't get you too far
Hate a nation, save a dog hit by a car

Walk a mile for what's behind your back
Say you're cautious when your mind has just one track
Hear what you want to hear 'cause it's all you'll hear anyway
'Cause man you've got it wrong and I'm not gonna stay

I'm goin' where the Lord is 'cause I know He is real
You say He's for the fool, base your facts on what you feel

Turn on the radio, hear the crazy preachers yell
Flip to a rock n' rolling song to praise the lord of hell
Look in the mirror, you think you're so good
You'd see you're so diseased if you only would

Go where the Lord is, 'cause I know He is real
You say He's for the fool, base your facts on what you feel.

Declare reality, invent your fate
Now if you're listening to me it's not yet too late
Jesus wants all of you, soul body and mind
You cannot see Him now 'cause you are blind

So go where the Lord is, 'cause I know He is real
You say He's for the fool, base your facts on what you feel.
I dare you, base your facts on what is real now.

I will admit that listening the sea of political commentary voices can make me want to rant like my 15-year-old self. The part of this song that keeps repeating in my mind is "hear what you want to hear..." and the refrain. Why? You watch a debate, then you hear Republicans saying the Republicans were great and Democrats saying Democrats were great, and they both point out how the other guys really are doofuses. You hear socialists saying that governments are the savior of mankind and you hear libertarians talk as if countries had no people in them to be concerned about. You see some Congressional representatives being bribed -- and accepting bribes -- to vote hastily for a catastrophic amount of money and power to be placed into hands that are not elected by citizens of this republic. I have been having flashbacks of my days working for Wisconsin Right to Life where I was the phone recipient of death threats, bomb threats, angry people trying to justify abortion and grieve the loss of their grandchildren to the same, evil taunts and gloating when Bill Clinton wiped out a decade of pro-life gains immediately after his inauguration.... all when I read of Catholics trying to say that abortion is not a significant enough political issue. All of this makes me want to scream.

But in the end, of course, my answer to my own tirade is the same now as it was 25 years ago. The Lord is real, and to Him I go. That too seems so much more complex now than when I was a teenybopper. Not more difficult (in fact, it is easier for me now). But the "real" is more real, I guess. I see now that there truly is no other answer to human needs. I don't go to the Lord simply to be sheltered from turmoil. I go to the Lord because He alone has the words of everlasting life. We desperately need somehow to pick up the shards of truth that get trampled underfoot in the public arena, or at least draw attention to them, while pointing to the coherent Whole who alone can give meaning to human life.

Two Contacts and an Offer

Some time ago I signed up with Goodreads when Sharon mentioned it on her blog. It has proven a useful way for me to keep track of books I want to read to my son, and it keeps me aware of how I should not be randomly requesting books for myself from the library when I see how long it takes me to read them. It has a nifty social feature to it, so if you'd like to sign up, or if you already use it, and would like to "be my friend," go here and click "add as a friend."

I also got myself on Facebook of all things today. A friend of mine from college, one of the very few people from that era of my life who still makes an effort to stay in touch with me (from Europe, I might add!) held the pictures of her newborn son captive on Facebook, so of course I had to join. Not to mention there's this little Facebook boom among the UnschoolingCatholics group in the last day or two. What can I say; it was meant to be. If you know me well enough to know my surname without me telling you here, go ahead and look for me and add me as a friend. Heck, it's weird, but maybe I'll get used to it. (Facebook, I mean. I might get used to having you as a friend, too.)

And now, the offer. If you buy supplements and have never tried iherb.com before, I can save you $5. (It is a good company, by the way. Back in the days of our intense fertility pursuits I did lots of cost comparisons and found iherb to be one of the best values out there. They ship promptly, too, and without outrageous shipping charges.) Just visit www.iherb.com, make your first-time customer order, and plunk in this code: MOM624. Easy as that. You get $5 off, and I think after tons of people do that I get a certain percentage off my orders as well.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Fall is Falling

It's fall here.

I share that just in case you are one of my dear readers who live Down Under or somewhere toasty like Texas or Arizona. Here in Ohio, it is fall.

Maybe it's because I just came back from Ontario where it is really fall, I mean red leaves and the whole bit. Maybe it is because I put our winter blanket on the bed tonight. Maybe it's because I've added socks back into my wardrobe.

For some reason, I notice it is fall.

I love summer, and I sternly reminded people who asked me around the 20th of August how my summer was that it would stay summer until the fall equinox. I do not hand back my summers willingly. My pores feel freer to be themselves when nighttime temps don't dip below 70. And here's a nerdy-housewife tidbit about me: I love hanging laundry outside to dry. I really love it when it dries in under three hours. The last batch I hung out was still wet after hanging out all day and I had to pop it in the drier, admitting defeat.

Oh, they say temps will poke up above the 60s in the next week, and I may even venture away from my home without a coat. But it is time to cook hot food for dinner and make soups and stews, and soon I'll even have to get my wool scarf out to wrap up my head when I go out. I'm a Wisconsin native after all; I can handle the cold.

My pores would just like to be happy a little while longer, instead of trying not to think about how long it will be before they see it hit 80 again.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Pinhole Glasses and Other Vision Endeavors

This is odd. The people who make pinhole eyeglasses contacted me to see if I might like to try their product and write about it here. Sure, I'm game.

The idea of this invention is explained on the pinhole glasses website. Essentially it allows light in differently (through, you guessed it, pinholes!) and this in turn causes the image to register differently in your brain. So you "see" differently than when you simply look across the room wearing your regular glasses, or in my case, when you look across the room without your glasses on because you can't wear them to see anything within three feet of you and therefore you end up rarely wearing them at all unless you are driving!

I enjoy questioning the standard approach to, well, just about anything, which explains why I was game to try these glasses. If there is a way to improve my vision apart from standard glasses, I'm all for it.

So here's what I've found. First off, they really do reduce eye strain. And I love the way the frames fit on my face so much that I wish I could use them for my standard, driving glasses. I do find the pinholes a bit distracting, just as new frames tend to be when you first switch colors or sizes. The only real downside I can point to is that they are best used for tasks that involve sitting still, like watching movies. I just don't do enough of that to be able to use them for long stretches. Apart from computer use (where my eyes function rather well au naturale) I can't think of any significant chunk of the day where I am just sitting and looking across the room without needing the use of my peripheral vision.

Speaking of vision issues, my son has been seeing a Developmental Optometrist, Dr. Joseph Sobek, who takes a very different approach to the vision needs of children. My son's treatment has caused him to be able to read with much greater ease, because his issue was how his eyes focus. He now wears focusing glasses, and a series of exercises have helped strengthen how his visual perception as well.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Feel Like Holiness is Impossible for You?

On the first of every month, Our Lord gives Anne a new message about His call to service.

October 1, 2008


Dear apostles, how strongly you desire holiness. This desire pleases Me and I will bless this desire. I will increase your holiness. There are times when you despair of becoming as holy as you wish. At those times when you are tempted, I would like you to know that I can make you holy in an instant. If you require heroic holiness in a moment, I can give it to you. The Holy Spirit blows where it is both welcomed and needed so if you welcome the Spirit, the Spirit will sanctify you. I, Jesus, lived on earth and in My humanity I understand the struggles that plague you. I understand the frustration you feel when you examine yourself and find that you have work to do in virtue. Dear ones, consider life like a walk. If you are taking a walk on any given day, you walk. You do not sit down on the path and call that action walking. That would be sitting down and that is different from walking. Your spiritual life is meant to be active. If you look at yourself and find that you need to work on holiness, then you are looking at yourself in truth. You are on the path and you are walking and you see that ahead of you the path continues on into the unknown as far as the possibility for your holiness. I, Jesus, am comfortable with this for you. I am not pleased, however, when you move backwards on the path or leave the path altogether. You were meant to serve Me and you were meant to serve Me in this time. Please, do not be distracted. Do not believe that My plan can do without your service. My plan does not require your perfection, My dearest one, but it does require your presence. If you remain with Me during your time on earth, My treasures are transmitted to you. You can then open your heart to others and allow these treasures to be distributed to them. Ask Me for these treasures for others. I will send them to others through you. Have no fear that this prayer will go unanswered. It will not. It will be answered more generously than you can imagine. Draw closer to Me in holiness, dear apostle, so that I can sanctify you and move into the world through you. Do not be afraid of
changes. Just as you must always be moving on your path, so the world must always be moving through time. As the world moves through time it changes and it is changing now. You, dearest apostle, are a part of that change.

Quote of the Day

Life does not accommodate you. It shatters you. It is meant to, and it couldn't do it better. Every seed destroys its container, or else there would be no fruition. - Florida Scott Maxwell