Today’s blog topics, as evidenced in my attempt at a witty entry title, are both subjects I posted about recently. I have more to say. (Come to think of it, that title’s also vaguely Potter-esque. Hmm.)
Lately, my intuition — my feelings — has been strangely on point. All the things could be coincidences, but I’m not so sure they are anymore. Examples: On my way to work yesterday morning, I suddenly wondered what I’d do if something happened to my car while I was driving in to work, like if I got another flat tire or something got caught under the brake pedal (one of the stranger mock situations from driving school). Just then, a car to my left in the fast lane blew out a tire. Or this evening, when I got home from work (later than usual, due to evil traffic), I had this urge to put on my Fearless shirt from Wal-Mart. I got it because it reminds me of the Fearless series, which I have yet to finish reading. Anyway, my initial reasoning was that, since I knew I wouldn’t be going out, I could wear it despite the bleached spots from the washer. Imagine my surprise when, while watching the Jeopardy! Teen Tournament, this clue comes up:
Blood, Missing, and Tears are titles in this series by Francine Pascal about a girl named Gaia.
And no one got it. But I hyperventilated. So am I going crazy? I’m not quite sure yet.
The other coincidence was the church-related kind. I don’t know if I’ve said it before, but one of my biggest signs that going back to church was the right decision was the awesome homilies I’ve heard. So many times, the topic of the homily was something that I’d been thinking about or had been troubling me, either recently or just in general. That could just be because I always pay attention to the homily; maybe I’m hearing what I want to hear. Or it could be that his homily topics are just general enough that they address several different issues. I swear I was thinking about the Holy Spirit that day when the priest (whose name I don’t know, but not Fr. Bill) gave a homily on the trouble people can have understanding Him.
I don’t know how many of you saw Greg’s and my comments on my last entry. Suffice it to say that they weren’t nice. At IHOP, like always, I felt like Greg was being hostile to my faith. Indeed, it’s a big change for me be such a big “black Jesus freak” (anybody else watch The Comeback?), and I’d rather Greg be more understanding, but I’m looking at it differently. I always knew Greg had issues with organized religion. It’s hard to argue faith with him, not that I’m great at arguing period, let alone over such deep issues. I’m trying to take it in stride. I don’t like defending myself and my faith to him, but I think it’s really doing me good. It makes me want to learn more, so I have ammunition to fight his arguments. Whatever the motivation, I’m learning. It also keeps me from being complacent. If I have to fight for my beliefs, I value them more. If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t be so upset when I can’t figure out what to say. I’d just think, “Oh, well, it’s not like it means anything to me anyway,” and go about my business.
Greg’s perception of me is that I’ve adopted a “holier than thou” attitude. (At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if you called me a “goody two-shoes”. “Conceited” is a much less hackneyed phrase; why didn’t you use it in the first place?) At first, I immediately denied it. Then I thought more. I’m trying to figure out how to live as a Catholic, instead of just saying I “kind of” am. Going back to church (and to confession!) was a big step. Praying came next. I’ve been doing that a lot lately. Also, as I mentioned, I’ve been doing the daily readings. Today’s reading and meditation were strangely appropriate.
God alone is great. No matter how perfect we are, the truth remains that we have all “sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). That’s why we all need to be careful not to consider ourselves better than someone else, and not to judge the sin or faults that someone else may commit. Everyone is precious to him, especially the stray sheep, which was so valued that the shepherd left ninety-nine others to recover it (Matthew 18:12). Divorce, addiction, poverty, homelessness, teen pregnancy � we need to look at these humbly, remembering that those who suffer these things are still beloved of God, sought after by him.
I think, in my attempt to live like I should, I’ve become too proud. I don’t intend to make Greg — or anyone else — feel bad for not being Catholic. We have free will; they can make their own choices. With Greg, I just remind him that I’m always eager to help him found out more about Catholicism if he’s interested. So, in my prayers for the last few days, I’ve asked for help quelling my pride. I ask for humility, calm, understanding, strength, and wisdom. I have almost more patience than I can stand, but that can help, too.
It’s almost my third blogiversary — and I’m thinking about moving into my LJ full-time. Thoughts? (And right after I wrote that, the Blogger user survey asked if I use any other blogging tools! The coincidences never end!)