Sunday, January 25, 2009

Be all that you can be

No, we're not joining the military here! Today I'm going to wax religious. If that bothers you, stop reading now.

I'm a Catholic. I refer to myself as a delicatessen Catholic. I pick and choose which parts of the faith I believe in. I, for example, think birth control is a fabulous thing. I don't believe that if an infant dies before being baptized, he or she won't go to Heaven. There are a few other things that the Pope and I probably differ on, but I do believe in the crux of the religion. During Mass, we say the Nicene creed. It's what we believe. I believe each and every word of that creed. That makes me Catholic.

I get great solace from attending Mass. Yes, my mind wanders sometimes. I can't help it, it just does. I usually always get something from the sermon though.

I attend Sunday morning Mass with my friend Mary. I told her yesterday that I was going to go to Saturday night Mass this week instead. I went to a different church. That really messes with my mind. All these new people to look at and, well, just new stuff. Oh, there is Mona and Jim from the park. I didn't know they were Catholic! Oh oh oh there are 4 more people from the park. Geez we could carpool here. The cantor sounds kind of like a cat in heat. Ohhhh pretty! There is sun shining through the stained glass window and it lights up the Lord's table perfectly! Sorry, you see how crazy it gets in my mind??? There was a priest, a retired priest, AND a deacon. Wow...the holy trinity! Sounds like the beginning of a joke! Oops, hope I don't go to hell for that one. Anyway, back to the Mass at hand.

I'm not sure where my mind was during the sermon, but it wasn't on the priests words. It was all about the apostle Paul yesterday. Now, if you've ever listened to anything Paul wrote, you might understand my angst. I think he was on crack. Seriously. I really have trouble following any of his readings. So, usually, when I hear that today's gospel is by Paul, I just kind of zone out. I know. Bad Debby. I finally tried to pay attention, and to my chagrin, the priest was uttering the last sentence of his sermon. Oops again. It was a powerful one though I thought. He said he'd heard Mother Theresa speak once and she said....I think I'll go to a new paragraph here so it doesn't get lost.

"Have you done all you can do? Life is short."

My regular priest, Father Michael, brought 2 plants in one Sunday. One quite dead, and one lush and green. He held them both up and asked:

"How do you look in the eyes of God?"

So, am I doing what I need to do? Am I doing ALL I could do? Would God look at me and see a withered plant, or a lovely full green one?

There are things I could work on for sure. I shall start doing that. I live in a park with old people. Lots of them are lonely. I am sure I could ease that burden a bit if I put myself out a little. I could work on my attitude, my thoughts, my words. There are many things I could do to get my plant a bit greener. Make the world a bit better, even if it's just my little corner of the world.

We've got war and strife in the world. We've got money problems and employment problems. We've got aimless killing and anger in our midst. The world is going to hell in a hand basket. If we all just started doing a bit more, being nicer, being less angry, doing what it took, perhaps we could change the world. One dead leaf at a time.

How about you?

Are you doing all you can do? Life is short.


Luanne said...

Don't you just hate it when the mind drifts. One day I was day dreaming and all at once I realized I'd just recited the priests part out loud. Everyone around me started chuckling. Thank goodness I didn't do it during the consecration.

Btw...Last year when I was in Naples for the month I saw someones bumper sticker that said "Catholic Radio" and it gave the call letters and station number for Ave Maria Radio. I turned it on and wow, I really loved it. Turns out I can get it here in Michigan too. Anyway,one day when I was listening someone called in and asked about babies dying without being baptized. I don't want to speak for the Pope, but this priest said if it was the parents desire for the baby to be baptized but never had time to get it done that that would fall under the Baptism by Desire category. That made sense.

After all the theif hanging next to Jesus wasn't baptized but Jesus told him he'd be with him in heaven. Again the desire thing.

Since listening to this station I have learned so much about Catholicism that I never knew before. Here I was 3 years ago ready to turn Baptist because I never knew how to defend my faith so I bought into the things I was hearing from others, and now after a year of listening to this station I just shake my head and wonder why I didn't see those things before.

Didn't know you were going to get two sermons in one day did you

susanlambert said...

Great post Debbie. I think we can all water our plants, so to speak.

xxoo Susan