The most popular thing on the C-blog right now is this post concerning Everett Bogue. I haven't kept up with Ev for the last year or so since I wrote that post, but he seems to have taken some people for a ride and is semi-homeless with his girlfriend Gwen Bell. I don't know all the details. Then, his mom posts on the blog. Ev seems to be having some kind of meltdown. My part in all of this? I seem to be the only one who keeps a post up about the guy with the comments section turning into a virtual forum for people to bash on the guy.
I don't believe in kicking a man when he is down, so I won't do that with Ev. He is clearly a man in a period of crisis. So, I will say a prayer for him. You should hold out hope for everyone no matter what.
I've been adding a little more detail to the subject line of these SOC posts. It should make them easier to search, and I am tempted to go back and include them on older posts. For those who don't know, these are posts where I write whatever pops into my head at that moment in a stream of consciousness essay. This is why I put the "SOC" tag on them. If I didn't, you would be lead to believe that I have no idea how to structure a real essay with a thesis.
I just saw my wife off to work. People ask me all the time how married life is treating me, and I have to say it is great. But I'm not the one that moved to a new town and a new job. My wife is a saint because she did all of that for me. I don't deserve someone as awesome as that woman, so I am very grateful to the Almighty for putting her in my life and to her. She puts up with a lot to be with me.
Yes, I am a Catholic or at least in the process of conversion. I am in RCIA paying my dues. The atheists on Facebook are not amused by my conversion. But it is OK. There was a time when I would have lashed out at those people, but I find this amazing love for them in my heart. Fulton Sheen used to end his programs with the benediction "God love you." Whenever someone bashes on me, I just say to myself "God love you."
I see that I have a mission in life now. My experience has prepared me in a unique way to reach Protestants, atheists, and lapsed Catholics. The fourth part of my mission in life is to present a Catholic view of politics based on the teachings of the Church. This urge is pressed in my heart over and over again. But I am also cautioned by a saying from my mother-in-law. "You just want to sprinkle them." The alternative is to turn on the firehose and blow them away. This is simply prudence, so my mission is to sprinkle in these areas. Whatever becomes of it will be left to God.
There are three heads on my fountain. The first head is my blog. People have already written to me to tell me that they have found encouragement and inspiration from the C-blog and my conversion. I am not really in my own at the moment because I am very much a student in this new way of living and thinking. Plus, I feel like a real dirtbag because of my past as an atheist. But I have no intention of expunging that past from my record. I lost my faith. But that faith was inferior and damning. I will have more on this when I discuss Catholicism and Calvinism, but I can tell you that heresy has consequences.
The second head is my life in the world. I rub shoulders with many non-Catholics, and I never go out with the intent of proselytizing. That would not be sprinkling. But I get hosed on a regular basis from Protestants, so I have many opportunities to share what I am learning and what I believe when they ask their questions. The part I struggle with the most is being an example because I am a terrible person.
The third head is my new life in the Church and with my wife. I spend hours on the balcony of my apartment talking with Molly about all of these things. And I have found a lot of great people at Our Lady of Perpetual Help especially our priest. This is where the third plank of my mission comes into play. There are a lot of lapsed Catholics. These are people usually raised in Catholicism, but they have grown cold in their faith. This is because they stopped going to Mass. My message to them is to go to Mass. Not really complicated.
I use an analogy or parable of sorts to describe it all. Imagine a thief who plots and schemes to acquire the grace of God. God rewards that schemer. We should learn from the example of that thief. We should love God's grace and mercy so much that we would do anything to receive it. Here is the example of the woman who touched the hem of Jesus's cloak:
And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. And Jesus said, “Who is the one who touched Me?” And while they were all denying it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing in on You.” But Jesus said, “Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me.” When the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came trembling and fell down before Him, and declared in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched Him, and how she had been immediately healed. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” Luke 8:40-48 NASB
That woman stole it from Jesus. And Jesus rewarded her. This is how we all should be. We should be like that woman. Some people try to barter for grace. Others simply beg for it and receive it. But those who scheme to get it are especially blessed because they know they don't deserve it, but they want it all the same and aim to get it.
I don't deserve God's grace. I don't deserve my wife, but I schemed to get her because I valued her where others did not. Similarly, I scheme to get God's grace. I am a scoundrel and a villain, but I know a good thing when I see it. So, I scheme to get the things I want. I want the love of God in my life. I don't care what I have to do to get it. I want it.
The love of God is gratuitous. It abounds and overflows. God loves you so hard that it would obliterate your soul to feel all of it at once. This is why salvation is a process. Purging breaks your heart, but it is the sweetest break you will ever know.
God love you.