Ask anyone today how they are doing and two out of three will answer with “busy.” It’s a crazy world out there. We’re overwhelmed like never before. There’s little time to focus in and make meaningful changes that will make our lives better. One reason is that it seems like it will be too much work and take too long. Who has the time these days?
As Christmas approaches I find myself thinking more and more about a story I once heard about a little boy named Giacomo. I don’t know where it originated so I can’t give the author their rightful credit. As the story goes, Giacomo was an enthusiastic and delightful child, with a positive attitude but also a mischievous streak that would land him in trouble often.
We all need them. Whether it’s an alert on our smart phone or a photo of a loved one on our desk, reminders serve an important purpose in our lives. As Catholics we rule when it comes to reminders - think statues, icons, and holy pictures. Sometimes we’re criticized for “worshipping idols.” Those who misunderstand think we’re worshipping our statues when they simply serve as reminders of Our Lord and His sacrifice on the cross, Our Lady’s intercessory role, or the heroic virtues of saints who inspire us in our difficulties.
Remember when you were in high school? Once in a great while (at least in my school it was pretty rare) when you did poorly on a test, after much angst and anxiety, you returned to class to learn that nearly everyone had done as poorly as you had and the teacher decided to grade it on a curve. Whew!
It was dark. Frantically he searched for safety. Everything around him seemed so frightening. Shadows. Strange noises.
“How did I get here?”
“What if I can’t find my way out?”
“This is probably my own fault.”
“Where is God?”
“Why is He punishing me?”
In my recent piece, Revelation Overload Anxiety I addressed the nervousness and fear so many are experiencing due to increased private revelations and prophecies that portend big changes coming in the world. Most of us, if we have any sense at all, see that our country, indeed our world, is in dire straits. Each day new atrocities unfold. All that was once held dear is held in contempt as the government rolls over individual rights in an ever increasing power grab, the likes of which we have never seen in America.
It was such an amazing experience to participate along with 2 other people at the “Living the Truth in Love” Conference in Rome to give our testimonies as part of something so vitally important. This conference was scheduled two days prior to the start of the Synod, and was co-sponsored by Courage International, Ignatius Press, and the Napa Institute as a way to begin a dialogue on same-sex attractions.
Read more of my article on Crisis Magazine site: Stepping Forward in Courage
To me, one of the saddest phenomena of modern times may be the paternity test. I guess it’s not the test so much as the reasons for it that get me down. Lawsuits leveled at dead-beat dads seek proof and retribution. Mothers who were promiscuous want to know who actually fathered their child. The hit play and movie "Mama Mia" was predicated on this situation with huge popularity. It’s actually really sad.
Ok, so it’s not in the DSM but I’m starting to see this disorder more and more in my office and among my friends. I’ve even had a few bouts with it myself. Anxiety. Agitation. Nervousness. Emotional paralysis. Sleeplessness. Obsessive thoughts and worries about the future.
We have no shortage of alleged visionaries, private revelation, and prophecies these days.
A great lady passed away recently - one of those unsung heroes you so often hear referenced but rarely meet. She was an unrelenting and unyielding champion of goodness and truth, disguised as a grandma, as so many are. Marie Mawn was a powerhouse of the prolife movement on Long Island, NY. Together with her late husband, John, Marie fueled the prolife cause with humility and dedication.