With Respect

It is with respect that I write.  This will be difficult, a confession of sorts, a convoluted confession for certain.

Friday is a joy filled day.  In profile, Sam is his dad, my son.  Full face, Sam is his mom, my daughter-in-law.  In his Sam-ness he is the absolute best of both parents.  Friday is a great day and like, all great things, it ends.

When Paul and Sam left today, so did my resolve of spirit.  I give in and sometimes I give up, helpless before the grief, the loneliness, the void of this house emptied of what was home.

Ronald Rolheiser is president of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas.  In his article,  Dealing With Loss, Grief, and Obsessions, Rolheiser wrote, “…and no religious word of comfort can do much for us”.

This is where I need to write with all due respect to those who tell me that prayer will heal, that God never requires more than a person can manage, that God has a plan that includes this ridiculous debilitating pain.   There are those that tell me that it is my arrogance that causes me to question The Plan.


I am not praying.

I can’t.

I am holing on, smiling at strangers, attempting focused conversations with family, remembering to eat, cleaning with dervish energy, consciously aware of how much I love my family and value my friends, honoring commitments, consciously, one moment after another.

This is all deliberate, my one-foot-in-front-of-the-other effort to reach deeply enough to find something good and noble in grief.  Goodness and nobility in grief?  Not going happen, but there is goodness and nobility in  family and friends, because of their outreach, their attempts to force time to compact, to tunnel through the process.

Perhaps their prayers on my behalf are part of that goodness and nobility, but for now, I cannot join them.  I don’t have the patience to believe nor the trust in acceptance that is to come on some distant tomorrow.



Leave That Porch Light On For Me

Good Early Morning, Gentle Readers,

Someone very near and dear to me is going through one of those chapters we always hope to skip, those unplanned, unpleasant and every ‘un’ we use to ruin a perfectly good word.

I will miss you for a few days as we get past this.  If you are a praying person, now is the time for me to ask to be included.  Hold that thought.

God’s Shopping List (ccr)

Two people with generous hearts, Dan and Virginia,  handle the details of a prayer group originally started at St. Therese Parish in Parkville, Missouri.  For years, faithful men and women have prayed for intentions shared through phone and email.   The outreach is great and God gets His list from  that far-and-wide place.   Many of the self-proclaimed Prayer Warriors are senior citizens who have weathered what both pesters and sustains lives.  With only an occasional wobble, their trust in God is strong.

Dan and Virginia keep the intentions before the faithful.  Virginia accepts phone requests and Dan compiles the emails.  Their ministry is a gift to all who believe and participate.

As I read the most recent email list, I smiled at my childhood image of God.   Powerful Giant looking through the clouds, scanning His Shopping For Miracles List that reached from His hand in heaven to the needs of the earth below.   As children, we prayed with such innocent intensity convinced that we could sway God’s choices.  Felt a little like the body language as the schoolyard captains picked teams on the playground.  Lean in, make eye contact and focus on not being picked last.

We are older now.  God has grown up with us.  The bearded and haloed figure is no longer first-out in our sense of God.  The Power, the Majesty of creation with man as pinnacle, is part of the evolution.  Despite what we know of evil, it is the sustaining Goodness that makes prayer a Comfort, that holds up our Trust.

Joining with others in Community Prayer is part of our Powerful Connection with this grown-up hold on God’s Shopping List For Miracles.  Sitting alone, watching whatever floats by— be it cloud formations, flickers in the fireplace or a sleeping child— we pray our connection to God, a prayer of Thanksgiving.

Caution: Forwards Can Be Caustic

Prayer is a very personal activity, even when in a public setting.  Our spiritual quest is private and prayer is what packs well for the current level of our search.

One word–Amen–is the power of prayer for some.  “Our Father Who art in heaven…” is a formula prayer and perfect for some needs.  Meditation and yoga can push us along the way as we search for the spiritual part of self.

I am on several prayer lists, group emails in which prayer needs are shared with the hope that community supplication is the answer.  Once in a while, someone uses the group mail to further a personal agenda, often political and more often caustic when dissected.

A recent misuse of this group email was directed against President Obama using the trite, yet very effective, device of excerpting quotes and using them out of context  to create fear.

This blog is not a political statement.  It neither pro nor con of any party or person.  That said, I have great respect for the Office of The President and for President Barack Obama as he handles the responsibilities of that office.

Rather this blog is a condemnation of the misuse of a prayer line to speak one’s political agenda by spinning the truth to fit a belief.  We are assailed by media money personalities who handle that tactic designed to bind people together behind an enemies list.

Cormac McCarthy has a line in Blood Meridian that is both frightening and apparently true.   “”What joins men together is not the sharing of bread but the sharing of enemies.”