Feb 3, 2010


I know I haven't been blogging much. I never wanted to blog here about my daily "secular" activities - that's what I do on facebook and twitter. I try to blog only about personal experiences that deepen my faith, teach me more about Christianity, and/or spiritually boost me. And with those, I usually spend a few hours - researching related theological topics, crafting my thoughts, and relating it all with my experience.

Sadly, I haven't really had the desire and willpower to do the research and contemplation - I'm afraid if I do I might end up back in a dark place again or something. So, I've been filling my time with both work and play. While I've been doing that, the world around me has actually been going along with experiences full of spiritual merit - good and bad alike! Each of these deserves its own blog post really but since I'm too scared to go too deeply into any of them I'll just give the survey here:

  • My brother Mark went to Haiti as part of a medical relief team. I am as proud of him as any brother could ever be, and I seriously tear up every time I write those words. Mark is a champion of the corporeal works of mercy and I've always been a little jealous of how great he is in that. But I take some peace in the possibility that I may be called to spiritual works of mercy; or at least I might have an aptitude in them the way Mark has in the corporeal.

  • Another brother, John, told me he completed his reception into the Catholic Church! He didn't go thru RCIA because he has attended Mass at a local parish with his wife (my RCIA sponsor) for nearly 20 years already. So, he did a short personal catechism with the priest there. His journey unfortunately began when he lost his job - did some serious soul-searching. He has since found a new job, but I can tell his transformation is continuing and it's inspiring.

  • One of my best friends had surgery to remove thyroid cancer. I tear up again when I write that he is one of the strongest and most joyous people I've ever known. I heard the news of his cancer while I was taking anti-depressants and I think that may have been the only thing that kept me from losing myself in sorrow over the situation. We are actually going to New Orleans to hang out and help during his recovery. Will even watch the Saints in the super-bowl at a party there - should give some much-needed and much-deserved joy.

  • iMonk was also diagnosed with, and treated for, cancer. I haven't kept up with blogs as much recently (obviously) so I don't know too much. I think it is a brain cancer and he is doing chemo now. The way he is able to fight and at the same time surrender himself to the will of God is amazing and encouraging to me.

  • One of my instructors at PSI, Joey, started his own blog! I'm still behind on reading my Catholic blogs, but I added him to the list and will probably be linking to his stuff in the future. And this semester my New Testament instructor has asked all (i.e., both) students to start blogs so we can use them during our course-work. I think he's going to start one too so things could get interesting.

For some actual theological meat, I'll include this quote by Thomas Merton that inspires me in taking comfort from good and honest labor.
The requirements of a work to be done can be understood as the will of God. If I am supposed to hoe a garden or make a table, then I will be obeying God if I am true to the task I am performing. To do the work carefully and well, with love and respect for the nature of my task and with due attention to its purpose, is to unite myself to God's will in my work. In this way I become His instrument. He works through me. When I act as His instrument my labor cannot become an obstacle to contemplation, even thought it may temporarily so occupy my mind that I cannot engage in it while I am actually doing my job. Yet my work itself will purify and pacify my mind and dispose me for contemplation.

I hope and pray that my recent indulgence in my work is purifying and pacifying my mind. If I were in a more ambitious blogging mood, I might try to express a similar meaningful justification for playing Xbox so much; but that's probably way beyond my ability.


Saint said...

I find that killing things in a video game help prevent me from killing things irl. There's my spiritual justification for playing video games.

luke said...

Hmm ... but remember Jesus said if we even commit adultery in our minds, we have already committed adultery. Need to digest that passage a bit more, but the point is still there - the action "in real life" is only part of the problem. ;)

Michelle said...

If you haven't heard of it, a good blog I've been keeping up with is "Why I'm Catholic" @ yimcatholic.blogspot.com It's not theologically dense. The author's main point is to post daily on reasons why he became Catholic and why he loves the church. :) It invites a lot of discussion with people. They even have an interactive book club where we're currently reading Mere Christianity. Anyway, just thought I'd pass it on to you.

How is Clover doing? Is all well with the blood disorder? I assume that is only a risk at birth and not so much thereafter. I'm only 7-12 weeks away from meeting my little girl!

luke said...

thanks Michelle. I'll add that one to the list as well. I already trimmed a couple blogs I always ignore so I think I've got some reading room opened up now.

Clover's been doing fine after she stayed an extra day in the hospital. just needed some extra time to get over jaundice caused by the A/B incompatibility thing. I've been following your posts and your reading challenge. keep it up!