Weekend Ponderings: Paul’s Thorn … and Mine

This is a little late getting to the blog — I should be posting “Miracle Monday” about now.  Please bear with me.

Today I was listening to our parochial vicar, Father Gordon (who will be leaving us in a week or two), talk about St. Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” and I was reminded what a breath-taking confession that must have been for St. Paul to make. While no one actually knows what the “thorn” was, my bet would be either migraines or depression. I blog about it  today at “Mommy Monsters.” 

Okay, you back?  Now for the “main course” …

One of the things I took away from the Catholic New Media Celebration — from Father Roderick, actually — was the idea that each post should be like a good meal — with a tantalizing appetizer, hearty main course, and “something sweet” to finish. Also, he talked about the five I’s of a good podcast (which I’m also extending to blog posts), which should …

  • Interest:  “Hook” them with something intriguing. (Like a good title.)
  • Inform:  Tell your audience what the post/podcast is going to cover, so they know whether they want to stay. (This involves keeping important content “above the fold” for bloggers, I think.)
  • Instruct: “Give people the tools they need to resolve their problems.”
  • Involve:  “Invite a response.”
  • Inspire:  “Pray over your show/blog.”  Here goes …

Lord, today I’d like to remember those who struggle with their own “thorns,” whatever those might be. Use those moments of suffering and weakness to mold us into the beautiful creations you want us to be. St. Teresa of Avila, patron saint of migraine sufferers, pray for us! In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen!

Last but not least … dessert!  Bit of pav, anyone? (Yes, I know his point was metaphorical. But this looks much better.)


#CNMC09: Answering the Call

Today in the keynote address, Father Dwyer talked about responding to God’s call to bring the Gospel to others, using whatever gifts we may have at our disposal. “You may only have 10 subscribers, but you are meeting the needs of those ten people in ways no bishop or priest ever can.”

It’s not about entertainment, not about drawing the high ratings, not “singing to the choir.” It’s about reaching people with real needs, who may never dark the door of a church but who know in their brokenness that they need … something. Something more. Something that draws us together, supporting one another and needing each other.

“When one part suffers, we all suffer; when one part is honored, we are all honored. There is too much polemic in the body of Christ; we must bring together and not divide. Sometimes that means making a choice not to slam someone who has a different view. St. Paul calls us to unity.”

This also has real implications in the world of adoption and foster parenting. There is so much pain and suffering out there, which we have been called to address. Even if it means we take a bit of that suffering on ourselves. I sometimes encounter people who say, “Oh, I could never foster — it would hurt too much if the kids went away.”

“The soul in which grief has cut the deepest, has the greatest capacity for joy.”  If we shy away from all experiences that have potential to inflict pain upon us, we will miss out on some of the most joy-filled and life-giving opportunities for grace. To follow Christ is to take up that cross, and to carry it willingly.

How will you do that today?