My friend’s 5-year-old son came home from school and started to share the day’s events with his mother over a glass of milk and cookies. He told her about the show-and-tell that featured a daddy who worked in the hospital emergency department. He told her about the scuffle on the playground between a bully-in-training and a soft-spoken kid. And then he told her about a discussion that left him so confused he had to ask a compelling question: “Mommy, who is God?”
Monthly Newspaper • DIOCESE OF BRIDGEPORT
When our parish’s Mothers’ Group asked me to be a guest speaker, I jumped at the chance. I love to share my faith. And I love being a mother. I was thrilled for the opportunity. But at the same time, I was scared.
My younger sister, who has MD after her name, regularly sends family members and friends advice on how to live healthy and happy lives so our bodies make it to the average life expectancy of 78.6 years—if not Abraham’s 175 years or Noah’s 950.
“What is truth?” (Pontius Pilate, John 18:38)
Truth is a serious matter. Truth is the pathway to happiness and freedom. The Book of Sirach tells us that all our human misery comes from mistaking where our true satisfaction lies (cf. Sirach 15:16-17), and there are Jesus’ words “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
The thing about spring is you forget how great it’s going to be. Life can be a drag. Winters can overstay. But spring is about hope, and hope is the thing that pokes its way out of a robin’s egg.
We take family walks. By the pond in the cemetery we happen upon a pair of turtles that are, um, trying to start their own family. I turn it into a teaching moment, but biology isn’t my best subject. The best I can do is sing.
Years ago when I was teaching religion in junior high school, the topic turned to God’s will, which can be a pretty daunting subject even for adults like Augustine and Aquinas, never mind adolescents.
Again it is stern November— “no butterflies, no bees, no fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds—November!” (Thomas Hood). The aged year is near its end; proud Winter is close at hand.
Our Billy is a growing boy. He had his first birthday over the summer and has recently taken up toddling. He’s also an early riser, and wants his breakfast on the tray about two seconds after his butt hits the high chair.
Did I mention he’s a yeller?
“They come! The merry months of beauty, song, and flowers. They come! The gladsome months.” (William Motherwell, “The Merry Summer Months”)
A new summer has begun. We have the gift of another summer, when life is at the apex.
I feel pretty good about myself after reading that the average American wastes 13,471 hours a year fiddling with the remote control, trying to find something to watch on TV, which probably doesn’t include the time spent actually watching TV—more than four hours a day or an estimated 9 years for a person who is 65. Just thinking about it makes my brain throb.
I didn’t always have five children and a wife. It wasn’t that long ago that I had no children and zero wives. On TV, they make bachelorhood seem a paradise of freedom and adventure. Not for me it wasn’t.
The missus and me just blew past our fifteenth wedding anniversary—a mini-milestone. Not to be glib…oh, never mind, glib it is…I’d rather be in jail than be single again.
We made a family confession. I know that sounds like we subjected ourselves to some bizarre public humiliation ritual. We didn’t.
The director of religious education at our parish graciously arranged for interested families to come for the sacrament together on a Saturday morning. Our priests graciously gave their time. The Hennesseys graciously dragged their carcasses out of bed.
Without intending to, Pope Francis dashed my hopes of becoming the next Mother Teresa when he said a real sign that you’re headed for sainthood is you never speak ill of anyone.
Life as we know it is inextricable from change. Nothing stays still. Everything that has its beginning on earth must someday come to an end; all flesh is grass. As we all come to know, no happiness lasts. There is the problem of “beauty that must die” (G.M. Hopkins, “The Leaden Echo”).There is no uninterrupted joy. Life goes on, closing over happiness as readily as it moves to ease sorrow. As Robert Frost said, “I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on.” To accept life is to accept change and loss.
I know a guy. I can’t tell you his real name. Let’s call him Joe Boots. He’s a great fellow. One of the best. Joe Boots works hard. He’s up early every day. Sometimes he’s at his desk by sunrise. He gets the job done—and done right—with a smile on his face.