I came across this intro spot I made for a weird podcast idea. It is so weird, but looking back its also hilarious. Give it a listen.
This is from over a year ago when we first moved to Texas, were living with my wife's parents, and looking for a house. I was driving over 1.5 hours to work ONE WAY.
My idea: read through the entire catechism in 30 days and record my thoughts while driving to work each day. 30 days, 30 episodes. RocketCat Blastoff...(such a weird name).
But its good to make weird stuff. You learn a ton and it makes that moment more obvious when you make something that really knocks it out of the park. For instance, when we recorded this episode of The Frank Show, our parish-based podcast show, we'd come a long way, learned a lot, changed a lot, and I feel like we hit a home run. It felt good.
Moral of the Story: Don't be afraid to try, to make weird stuff, or to try to make weird stuff.
This coming Sunday marks the 53 anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. Pope John XXIII opened with a speech and a prayer.
Join me today in prayer with Pope St. John XXIII for the future of our Church.
O divine Spirit, sent by the Father in the Name of Jesus, give your aid and infallible guidance to your Church and pour out on the Ecumenical Council the fullness of your gifts.
O gentle Teacher and Consoler, enlighten the hearts of our prelates who, eagerly responding to the call of the supreme Roman Pontiff, will gather here in solemn conclave.
May this Council produce abundant fruits: may the light and power of the Gospel be more widely diffused in human society; may new vigor be imparted to the Catholic religion and its missionary function; may we all acquire a more profound knowledge of the Church’s doctrine and a wholesome increase of Christian morality.
O gentle Guest of our souls, confirm our minds in truth and dispose our hearts to obedience, that the deliberations of the Council may find us generous consent and prompt obedience.
We pray to you again for the lambs who are no longer part of the one fold of Jesus Christ, that they too, who still glory in the name of Christians, may at last be reunited under one Shepherd.
Renew in our own days your miracles as of a second Pentecost; and grant that Holy Church, reunited in one prayer, more fervent than before, around Mary the Mother of Jesus, and under the leadership of Peter, may extend the kingdom of the divine Savior, a kingdom of truth, justice, love and peace.
And, I picked up this book many years ago and only recently flipped through it, Journal of a Soul is a collection of personal and private writings of Pope St. John XXIII from 1895-1961. It includes his journaling during his years in seminary, the years leading up to his election as Pope, his thoughts and meditations he has while on private retreats in Castel Gandolfo as Pope, and even multiple versions and details of his last will and testament. I highly recommend it. The warmth and simplicity of his life and his desire for union with Jesus Christ above all things is inspiring.
If you don't own a catechism, then in a way you're kind of missing out on Vatican II and one of the best kept secrets of the Council. Many have described it as a direct fruit of Vatican II, who's aim was to "guard and present better the precious deposit of faith," as Pope St. John XXIII said at the opening of the Council.
Very recently I realized I was drinking, consistently, about 3-5 cups of coffee every working day.
Just got to work? Coffee.
Just ate lunch? Coffee.
About to give a talk? Coffee.
Going to staff meeting? Coffee.
Meeting with teens? Coffee.
Working late? Coffee.
It was taking a toll on me, and I felt uncomfortable with the dependency on it. I could get moody, experienced huge energy swings, and most importantly, I feel like I was seriously craving simplicity.
Coffee isn't bad. (In fact, its delicious and you should buy some from Monk Rock.) But, for whatever reason, for me right now, it really was enabling a mind-scattering life. I'm already prone to getting stuck scrolling on Instagram, or Facebook, or constantly checking email. I also have a (bad?) habit of filling the quite hours of my day with podcasts. And the coffee-state-of-mind I really feel was making all of these bad habits and inclination more pronounced.
So, as a symbol of my new dedication to finding simplicity again and to reset the body, I've quit the coffee for a season. Who knows how long I'll stick to this.
In the meantime, I've noticed that I've really come to enjoy the experience of having a hot drink to sip on. Something about it is meditative and really human. Hot drinks force you to slow down a bit. They require some prep, but not much. And the steam and smell is comforting and for some reason I associate it with creativity.
To fill this hole in my heart that demands hot drinks, I've experimented with some recipes for hot water. I've found these to be tastey, but they also smell great. The experience is really all part of it. Making the water, cutting and prepping your ingredients, and mixing it together in a nice mug. I don't know why I'm recalling digging this right now, but just trust me. Try it and let me know what you think.
Make some hot water, grab a mug, pull out a book, or pen and paper, or schematics, and enjoy slowing down.
cut lemon half (squeeze a little juice in the mug)
fresh mint (home grown is the bomb)
yup, hot water
few drops of vanilla
squeeze of honey (bigger squeeze if its after 8pm)
surprise! hot water...
tablespoon of honey
teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
The Below Are Not Recommended...
how about some hot water?
fresh cut lime half
tortilla, torn into pieces
1 cup very hot water
a lock of hair
anti-aging facial mask stuff
t-shirt with that gross 90's color palette
a guitar string
Tried any of these? Do you have any recipes for water? Are you living with a mild case of pre-pre-early midlife crisis?
The Pope is in the US!
There's plenty of coverage around the web, so I won't pretend to inform you.
However, this morning in prayer (prayer that involved browsing Facebook at one point, I'll admit) I noticed these things. Going back and forth between the news, Scripture, and then dual wielding Scripture with the Catechism, all of these things came together. It all hit me pretty hard and I'm still processing why exactly that is. I'll just leave them here in the order I came across them without any interpretation. Feel free to offer your thoughts.
Luke 19:1-6 He came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” And he came down quickly and received him with joy.
549 By freeing some individuals from the earthly evils of hunger, injustice, illness and death, Jesus performed messianic signs. Nevertheless he did not come to abolish all evils here below, but to free men from the gravest slavery, sin, which thwarts them in their vocation as God's sons and causes all forms of human bondage.
1443 During his public life Jesus not only forgave sins, but also made plain the effect of this forgiveness: he reintegrated forgiven sinners into the community of the People of God from which sin had alienated or even excluded them. A remarkable sign of this is the fact that Jesus receives sinners at his table, a gesture that expresses in an astonishing way both God's forgiveness and the return to the bosom of the People of God.
Luke 19:7-10 When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.”
2412 In virtue of commutative justice, reparation for injustice committed requires the restitution of stolen goods to their owner: Jesus blesses Zacchaeus for his pledge: "If I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold." Those who, directly or indirectly, have taken possession of the goods of another, are obliged to make restitution of them, or to return the equivalent in kind or in money, if the goods have disappeared, as well as the profit or advantages their owner would have legitimately obtained from them. Likewise, all who in some manner have taken part in a theft or who have knowingly benefited from it — for example, those who ordered it, assisted in it, or received the stolen goods — are obliged to make restitution in proportion to their responsibility and to their share of what was stolen.
2712 Contemplative prayer is the prayer of the child of God, of the forgiven sinner who agrees to welcome the love by which he is loved and who wants to respond to it by loving even more. But he knows that the love he is returning is poured out by the Spirit in his heart, for everything is grace from God. Contemplative prayer is the poor and humble surrender to the loving will of the Father in ever deeper union with his beloved Son.