NO CRYING AT MY FUNERAL

NO CRYING AT MY FUNERAL

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

PHYSICALLY SEPARATE, SPIRITUALLY UNITED

“STAY DISTANT PHYSICALLY;

STAY CONNECTED SPIRITUALLY."
Andrew Cuomo, Governor
New York State
March 23, 2020

This is the way we have been brought up in the culture if the northeastern corner of
the United States. The exhortation of the Governor of New York is not a new way of
being for us. When I heard it on Monday morning, March 23, it brought me to the
scenes in Luke's Gospel about the story of the Annunciation. How could I not think
of the Joseph and Mary situation? How could I not wonder what happened after
Joseph's dream? How could I not wonder about their family life through the years?
How could I avoid reflecting on the many physical separations that I now experience
after so many years of life? How could I avoid the flood of spiritual connections that
fill my soul and nourish my conversations with Our Lord and His Mother every night
in the moment between pulling the covers over myself and the embrace of sister sleep?

We of the northeastern corner of the United States are not "chatty" by nature. We go
about our lives quietly and privately, all the while accepting that our social contract is
that when the neighbor is in need, that moment of need is our moment of need as well.
We grow up appreciating the truth that a quiet, almost silent neighbor is a good
neighbor. We grow up physically "distant" while maintaining a "spiritual" connection.

That is also why we have a deep appreciation for the Angel Gabriel's comforting words,
"Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found Grace before the Lord."
(Luke 1, 30) By his demeanor the angel gave proof that Mary had a significant
spiritual connection with God. Put it all together and the miracle of the spiritual
connection beween us and God, is also a reality that strengthens our spiritual
connection with one another.

When we think of this in connection with the miracle of La Salette it opens our soul
to a deepeer undertanding of the opening words of the Beautiful Lady's greeting,
"Come near, my children, do not be afraid. I have come to tell you great news."

Happy Annunciation.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

HONESTY, PURE AND SIMPLE

WARNING:  This photo is posed.  Here is why.


The other day the Voice from the Kitchen and I were on our way to the market intent on buying the provisions for the week.  I was wearing a comfortable pair of sweatsuit pants that do not have pockets. I was carrying my cell phone and my wallet and the car keys in my hands.  I also had other items that I had to place on the back seat.  To do that, I placed my wallet in the position that you see here. I did all that I had to do, almost, went around to the driver's side, got in, started the car, assured myself that the lady was comfortable and left.

It is nearly seven miles over city streets to the market and traffic was fair to middling on a cloudy and light rain MLK Day.  At a traffic signal six miles into the travel, we were stopped in a line waiting for the light when all of a sudden we heard banging on the passenger side window.  We both looked and there was the smiling face of a handsome teenager who was waving what I immediately recognized as my wallet.  We were shocked and confused and fighting the complexity of our emotions and the fact that we were in traffic, the boy waving the wallet was in the street, of course, the windows were up and the light had changed.  I finally lowered the window, Spouse took the wallet and the boy ran back to the vehicle from which he had come.  

The Voice from the Kitchen got into gear and the babble was a torrent of prayerful gratitude and deprecatory invective trying to describe the foolishness that ruled my life.  Let the generalizations suffice.  You don't need the details.  After about a half mile there was a pause in the noise level, so I asked if she had any plans to inspect the contents for completeness.  "Oh, my!" says she, "I forgot."  To confess, I must say that my thought process had been short-circuited and I was just beginning to rewire the cervical synapses.
She opened the wallet and it was still home to all that it contained when we left our driveway.  
We still talk about it in hushed terms.  We remind ourselves of the bright eyes and the 200 watt smile of the honest young man blazing through the window.  We constantly sigh sincere prayers of gratitude to the Lord above who nudged our guardian angels into protective action to assure the stability of the wallet laying in such a precarious place.

PS  Because of the head protector and the stuffed animal, my view was totally blocked.


When I die, remember stuff like this and it will keep you from crying at my funeral.

Monday, October 28, 2019

HR STORY - GOOD ONE -

                                                              
It was eight o'clock on a Monday morning.
She was unkempt. She smelled really bad. Her glasses were thick and greasy. It had been one year since she dropped out of high school. She was the poster girl for the racist crowd.  She had one thing that was stunning: Her application was a piece of art. Her hand writing was sharp and artistic.
She shook my hand as she gave me her application.  It was clear by it that she had a purpose and confidence to make it happen.  I spent a minute talking to her. I had ten entry level openings. I lied and said that if something came up I would call. She left. I filled the ten positions. She called me once per week for three weeks. I put her off each time.
The fourth week, midweek, one manager said he needed someone NOW. I decided that this was the time.  I picked up the phone and told her that if she wanted work, she had to be in my office in one hour. She agreed. She came. I had collected some of our knee length work “blouses” for her. She was caught between tears and giggles. She covered herself with one of the blouses and folded her arms across the front in an act of confidence.  I did a short orientation and released her to the manager of the department.  I  did a lot of things for her to help her stay clean and well fed. In less than one year she was a lead. In two years she was a supervisor. I was able to get the company to put her through adult school for her high school degree. Five years later, I left the company. I lost track of her. I am not afraid to dream that she is a sweet smelling, proud and loving mother of children as successful as she.



Sunday, August 4, 2019

I ACCUSE...

"Go back to where you came from"
Yes, "I Accuse..." the famous indictment aimed at the President of France by the famous writer, Emile Zola in 1898.  I have no reservations about accusing the present President of the United States of introducing vile and dangerous suggestions into the hearts and minds of our people.  From the "Birther" movement, the "Mexicans are rapists and drug smugglers, to the "Mexican" judge who is biased, the insulting nicknaming of Elizabeth Warren as "Pocahontas", to the ridiculing of Mrs Kahn, Gold Star mother of a Muslim son killed in action, to the denigration of women, to saying that all Haitians have AIDS, that immigrants and refugee seekers come from "shithole countries", to protecting anti-semites, white supremacists in Charlottesville, to leading the commission of a crime of humanity on the southern border of the USA, and finally he has begun to attack elected members of congress who are Black and Brown and non-Christian.
This list is only what I can express without looking at a more complete list on Google.
This bigoted behavior emanates from the demagogue on the shore of the Potomac and therefore is meant to reinforce the authority of the resident of the White House.  As such, then, the President of the United States is definitely sowing the seeds of hatred and discontent in the hearts of the citizenry and therefore, is complicit in the commission of these acts of domestic terrorism.
It cannot be lost on us Christians, White people that it is the white male population of the United States that is being radicalized.  I accuse Donald Trump of being the radicaliser in chief.  I accuse him of being the alligator in chief of the swamp that he promised to drain, but rather, has made all the more dangerous.
Yes, Donald Trump, these accusations address but a small fraction of your criminal behavior.  Yes, you are undeniably a criminal.  You should be sitting in front of the international tribunal in Le Hague.
After you have finished reading this, I don't have to remind you not to cry at my funeral.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

EASTER, PENTECOST, CORPUS CHRISTI

Hello to one and all.  I have been quiet for a long time.  Lately I have been slowly awakening because I have been challenged by some interesting questions that have come my way from the Internet.  Some 4+ years ago I discovered the online question and answer community called "Quora."  I got involved with some of the questions and lately my responses have been distinctly impregnated with our Catholic spirituality.  I is almost like I have been elbowed by the Lord above and His Advocate.  I have come to realize just how much common sense there is in the presence of the Holy Spirit.  I is so natural to refer this common sense to the stories that are housed in the Sacred Scriptures.

Over the last month the Spirit has been elbowing me to reflect on the mission that was given to me in my 30 year career of Human Resources Management.  When I changed my life's focus, I had to prepare myself for life in the "real world."  In those days, the Internet was nothing but a gleam in Bill Gates' and Paul Allen's eyes.  I "studied" the Help Wanted Ads morning noon and night.  I picked the brains of our "real world" uncles, aunts and cousins.  I nearly burnt the church down with the volume of candles I lit.  I actually enrolled in a community college to take a semester of algebra so that I would not have to admit that I had not passed in high school.  I did pass = C+😉😕😏 with the generous help of Laura Dion, now a senior electronics engineer with Qualcomm.

After some three months I was able to pass an interview at a famous Japanese company named Kyocera.  This is a name constructed Kyoto and ceramics.  As it turned out, not only did I do well in the interview held in the board room and lasting 2 hours, but I later found out that I had projected a positive outlook on life. It also turned out that I had correctly answered the key question correctly.

After the interview it became clear to me that despite the lack of a core Catholic presence, the company was managed according to admirable moral values.  My supervisor/mentor was a graduate of Georgetown U, a Jesuit institution.  His grandfather was a Presbyterian minister and a poet of deep talent who was mainly dedicated to spiritual flights of visionary expressions.  It was clear to me that this was a blessing from God. 

I could write many paragraphs about the life lessons I learned in the six years that I worked there.  That is not my intention for now.  What I have promised myself to do for now is to dwell on the "Acts of the Apostle" not just during my stay at Kyocera, but during my senior managerial life as a human resources Missionary.  I have no intention to tell the dark tales of a human resources director.  Over the next month or so, I invite you to join me and enjoy the positive side of a lay missionary's life. 

Enjoy yourselves and you'll find out why there is to be no crying at my funeral.