Saturday, April 18, 2015

Right Place

So I am sitting at the dining room table of the rectory with a catheter bag showing hanging from the bottom of my bath robe.  Knock at the door.  Distraught parent walks in with family problem.  He wants the pastor.  No pastor at home.  Parent needs to talk.  So I simply invite him into the house chapel, bringing my catheter bag along, rather full at that moment and we talk.  Neither I nor he ever referred to my bizarre situation.  I gave him some things he could do.  He felt better and went home to do as I suggested.  I called him with another idea and follow up.  AsI got into bed I realized that though I am damaged goods, God put me in the right place at the right time to be of some use.  My advice even worked toward the solution!  God does not need perfect people.  God needs willing people who stop focusing on their own misery and help another person.  I usually focus on me and look for sympathy if not pity, and coffee cake.  But that night I did not.  So even if my body is broken I think the real miracle is that my souls is being healed.  Now and then I surprise myself by being a nice guy.  Try it.  It feels good.

Friday, April 17, 2015


I am trying not to be a hoarder.  I hear that old folks tend to hoard, to hold onto things.  I did not save my catheter.  I do not need a reminder of the days and night we spent together.  My catheter was good to me and did a good job saving me from worse misery in the healing process.  As a reward, I tossed it away.  I believe that the catheter can take it.  I am not so sure that people like to be tossed away once their good purpose has been finished.  My catheter is a reminder to me to look back and see who I might have tossed away.  Never be rid of a daily examination of conscience.  It can lead to saying, "I am sorry," and "I was wrong."  These words might be just as healing as my catheter was to me.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Post Op

After the confinement of surgery I have gratitude for what seemed like simple things I took for granted.  I can now walk freely.  I used to complain that walking was so unathletic and common.  I can bend over and pick things up off the floor.  I can dress myself.  We do not know what we have until we lose it.  Daily life is a treasure.  I never did get my NY crumb cake but someone in Boulder baked me a delicious bunt cake that was even better.  She is my new best friend though she rarely bakes.  My ardor could fade.  Oh! This is the new me.  Take nothing for granted.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Gospel Connection

On Easter Sunday I made a connection in the mass readings that I thought I had come up with all by myself.  I thought, "I am an original."  The congregations were impressed.  God had graced me with insight.  Two days later a parishioner came in with a page copy from a book by a famous scripture scholar.  He had come up with the same idea I had.  I thought to myself, "This scholar studied his brains out and went around becoming famous and earning lots of $$$ giving talks."  I have the same idea, but make no $$$, am unknown, and have no Ph.D.  This scholar is dead.  Was I channeling him?  Did God want this idea resurrected for today in Boulder?  God works in ways that amaze me.  My ego would have like the fame and my religious order would have liked the $$$.  This is not part of God's plan for me.  Sometimes when we become more we really become less.  Envy or jealousy can do that.

No Energy

I have no energy.  I did nothing in surgery except lie there.  I was limited in movement the first few days.  Now I am free to move about, but I fade by mid-morning.  I did the early mass yesterday and then a funeral.  That was the extent of my public persona.  I am struggling with limitations big time.  We all have them to some extent.  We have to live within the range of what we have for that day, or else we make things worse and have even less energy and availability the next day.  My running coach used to say, "Get tough or die."  Today it feels like, "Get tough and die."  Surgery has spared me.  I live for another day.  That will be enough for today.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


I came across a good way of describing meditation.  If you are watching a play, you observe the event taking place as an outsider.  You are a viewer.  Meditation is when you watch a scene from the inside.  You put yourself into the scene.  You are within the event.  With all my senses I become part of what is happening.  I am not just an observer.  I reflect on my response to the scene as it takes place.  This is in fact how I meditate upon scripture, for instance.  At first, I just read to get the information on what is going on in the bible scene.  Meditation is when I enter the scene and see how I react.  Observing the play does not change to play.  Meditating does change me.

Next Step

The catheter came out yesterday.  I am now a fan of "Green Light" laser surgery.  Friends doubted me.  I hoped that I was right.  The promo literature proved a lot more right than the lawyer language of foreboding did.  I am giving up the pain meds for a bit of burning.  Better here than in purgatory.  I made a lot of promises to God over the last few days.  I was a bit rash given my penchant for sin.  But I will try.  I am feeling a lot of gratitude.  Days go better for me when I feel gratitude for some of the everyday things I take for granted.  How about you?