Bad Day, See You on June 15

Taken from

With regret I need to take a break from posting, as commitments press on all sides. God willing, I hope to return on June 15. I invite you to please join me again then. Let us pray for one another.

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. — The fox to the prince in Le Petit Prince

My mission in writing this Blog is to search with you for the heart of the world. What’s that heart? The Catechism (#25) says it eloquently:

The whole concern of doctrine and its teaching must be directed to the love that never ends. Whether something is proposed for belief, for hope or for action, the love of our Lord must always be made accessible, so that anyone can see that all the works of perfect Christian virtue spring from love and have no other objective than to arrive at love.

To that effect, let me offer you some food to chew on in your heart. I will leave you with 4 meaty quotes, and one parting smile.


Random image: 5/26 sunset near our home

The quotes:

I was speaking the other day to an elderly woman at [my parish,] who’s lived as a member of the parish since childhood. What a rare bird! And she’s a character. She’s a daily Mass goer, involved in a number of social outreach programs. She’s someone you want to talk to when you are looking for a long-viewed and unvarnished opinion. She said some remarkable things to me the other day, when I mentioned to her about how difficult it was to get people involved in parish life when they’re always coming and going. You gotta hear this. Feel free to use it. It went something like this: “The problem these days is that people have too much to do. But what are they doing? They don’t have time for a cup of tea. They can’t spend ten minutes with you without reaching for their phone to see the latest update. They’re so busy keeping up with everyone that they don’t have real time for anyone. They’ve lost their patience with staying too long with the same people. You see, when you stay ‘too’ long with the same people you find out they’re a petty bunch. They’re annoying. Get on your nerves, you see. And then you see your own pettiness that they bring out of you. Not pretty. But if you don’t stick with them long enough to squirm, I think, Father, you’ll never learn love. Not real love. Love with dirt under the nails. Love means staying a long time with the same annoying people. It’s easy to flit from person to person or parish to parish. You never have to dig deep. Keeping the time short enough each time lets you hide from the hard work of love. The longer you spend time with people, the more times you have to forgive them. Ask forgiveness. You have to be patient. Put up with a lot. Mable, she’s our gossip. Henry snorts and coughs in the pew behind me. Betty’s the complainer. Larry’s the talker. A motley crew, all of them! But I love them all. They’re family. Didn’t choose ’em! I always say if they’re good enough to be God’s family, they’re good enough for me. So, Father, guess I’m not much help. Don’t know if you can change things these days. Only the good Lord can. But maybe it’d do some good if you gave a sermon now and again about what’s real love. I mean, love with staying power. Love means sticking around with people you don’t like. And if you do it long enough you just may learn, even if you still don’t like them, you’ve learned to love them. And learning to love, isn’t that the whole idea?”— Letter from a priest friend

…it is more important than ever for us to bear witness to truth of Christ’s love. It’s not necessary for us to march or protest or organize boycotts. It’s not necessary for us to form Catholic ghettos and keep the world from polluting the purity of our truth. Christ’s love and truth do not need our protection. We need his protection, that is, we need the protection that divine love and truth afford us. Not protection from the world. But protection from our own inclinations to borrow trouble and beg for compromise. We need to be protected from our own base longings to be included, to be applauded, to be honored by the world. The temptation for us now – right here in 2015 America – is to avoid being seen as backward-looking, ignorant, knuckle-dragging rednecks who just won’t “get with the times.” The more colorful the names we’re called, the harder we must love as Christ loves us. The heavier the fines, the harder we must love as Christ loves us. The longer we spend in the jail, the harder we must love as Christ loves us. The bloodier the violence (if we ever come to that!), the harder we must love as Christ loves us. We don’t love God and one another as Christ loves us in order to win the fight. The fight is won. We love b/c Christ loves us. And by loving him – even imperfectly – we become more and more like him. — Fr. Philip Neri Powell, O.P.

The Scriptures remind us, “If any one says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.” … “Which means we love God only as much as we love the person we like the least.” — Servant of God Dorothy Day

You cannot be too gentle, too kind. Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other. Joy, radiant joy, streams from the face of him who gives and kindles joy in the heart of him who receives. All condemnation is from the devil. Never condemn each other. We condemn others only because we shun knowing ourselves. When we gaze at our own failings, we see such a swamp that nothing in another can equal it. That is why we turn away, and make much of the faults of others. Instead of condemning others, strive to reach inner peace. Keep silent, refrain from judgement. This will raise you above the deadly arrows of slander, insult and outrage and will shield your glowing hearts against all evil. Acquire the spirit of peace and a thousand souls around you will be saved. – St Seraphim of Sarov

The smile: a re-post of a music video my tech-genius son, Michael, made for me. Once I shared with him an idea I had about splicing a 23 second video clip I’d seen on the news with a song I like. He said, “sure,” and in a matter of minutes it was done. Here’s the result:

15 comments on “Bad Day, See You on June 15

  1. Tom says:

    That would be a bad day….LOL! Hope that wasn’t really what happened to you. I learned the other day on the news that the worst drivers are located in New Orleans.

  2. Ben Patterson says:

    Making me feel better already

  3. Father Mark Moretti says:

    I will be more careful with my tow truck company the next time I break down 🙂 Since Michael likes to splice audio files, here is one he will love (although as his aged father you will have to provide major, cross-generational historical context for him:) Happy Epiphany brother!!!

  4. Louise says:

    Once again, I will miss your posts, the insights you share and your wisdom. I pray you also find the inner peace of Christ amidst your pressing committments. I look foward to your return.

  5. oneview says:

    Nooooo……dont’ stop blogging!!!!! Just kidding….take the time you need and I will pray for you. Thanks for sharing your gift when you can…thanks for leaving us with a powerful message on real love 🙂 Blessings on your day and the next few weeks!

  6. Ona says:

    I hope you didn’t have such a bad day, and thanks for the chuckle. You remain in my prayers. Peace to you.

  7. Jennifer says:

    I cheated on my self-imposed blog fast in the early hours this morning and was stabbed in my heart by these four quotes. The first one, from the wise old woman, the lifer, reminded me so much of the conundrum of place that Rod Dreher expresses so painfully well in his beautiful tribute to his sister, “The Little Way of Ruthie Leming” which I believe you’ve quoted from here before. My nature is to be a runner, to avoid the hard. to handle failure by walking away. But now I am becoming a person who craves the richness that comes with having history and who is being drawn in by Him (in spite of herself) to the long-suffering and the hard and the messes even as it terrifies her. God is incredibly good and faithful to us in our darkest times and our hardest struggles! His merciful love, that abundant font of life that he offers as nourishment for the battered hearts of we, his pitiful swamp-things when only we put our trust in Him. His love enduring forever, the truest truth I can ever hope to know….and don’t forget the swamp teems with life and constant renewal, and it is in looking up from the dark swampy places that the star light shines brightest. Thank you, Doctor, for being true to the mission of your blog to lead us on a search for the heart of the world. Blessings of peace, perseverance, and daily bread to you.


  8. number one spinner says:

    J. !!!!!!!!!! How could you . This weak brother is right there with you.n.o.s..

  9. Stonefield =[]= says:

    the last one, esp. I can relate to. St Seraphim of Sarov. Perfect. Thank you Doctor.

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