Saturday, September 24, 2011



It is impossible to live a Catholic life without being a dreamer.  When I stop and think about it I realize just how much I dream.  My dreaming rarely takes place during sleep.   I dream all day long.  Sometimes even 25 hours a day!  Unlike Jacob, Joseph and the Magi, I get my dreams during the day.  I'm too busy with more important things at night.  When I'm there I'm practicing what being dead feels like.  I do admit that after a few hours of that exercise, it does feel good to be able to see the ceiling over my head.
The first sentence above is the driver of the following.  I have written several paragraphs of "religiously neutral" thoughts about "Random Thoughts" in other venues.  I felt empty when I wrote those because I was striving to find a "natural" meaning to the phenomenon of "Random Thoughts."  I enjoyed the search, but all the while I knew the truth.  I am more comfortable with my Catholic convictions about thoughts that "just run through my coconut."  I am 100% comfortable with the faith that what comes to me freely, not as the response to some perceptible stimulus, comes from Grace.  God and his company of saints and angels want me to know something consciously that can help me to lead a better life.  I lead a life full of these wonderful nudges to my brain and my heart and my soul.  Let me give you a few little examples of the kind of "spiritual life" that I lead.  All of a sudden I think of someone whom I know to have been critically ill.  It has been six months since the last word about this individual.  I say, "Our Father, if you're telling me that you've taken this good lady by the hand, I am happy for her.  If she has to wait a while before joining you in the Garden, please take some of my pain and put it on her tab.  Oh, and by the way, please continue to take care of those she has left behind."  It is more often than not, the case that the person has left the valley of tears.  
There is also the time when I notice a missed telephone call from an unknown number, from a weird area code.  I, have the habit of calling back to see who called.  If it is the IRS, I just tell them that they're lucky that day because I prayed for the caller before ringing it up.  One IRS lady was happy to hear that.  God bless America, right?  
Our Catholic life has changed somewhat in the calendering of the saint of the day.  We used to be able to tell whose birthday it was that day by checking the name of the saint for that very day.  It's not like that too much any more.  The old habit dies hard though.  I find myself writing E-mails to Joaquin, George, Louis, Maria, Lucia, Perpetua and some others who inhabit the spiritual part of my brain, usually referred to as the soul. 

I live this way because it is a convenient way for me to remember to pray.  Not just FOR the person I suddenly meet in memory, but to GOD whom I consider to be the master of what I am and do every day.  It is good to have a sensitivity to the divine presence.  It is good to keep ourselves alive to the action of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  It is not difficult to remember to pray if we stay awake to the "random" nudges that God gives us many times every day.  We have to respond immediately.  If you're like I am you say to yourself, "I'll get back to this one."  That's the one that I lose because it is here now and gone in a trice.  So I thank God that He does that for me.  Keeps me remembering not so much of Him, personally  but all those people and events that slide into my mind and heart from unexpected and even, unstimulated sources...except God Himself, of course.
If you get into this habit, you will discover a change in your life.  Don't thank me for it, just don't cry at my funeral.
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