Now and again

Dear Readers:

Beginning June 14 my new blog routine will begin. I will only post once in a while, as I concentrate on turning my work here into publishable material. If you would like to be made aware of new posts when they come be sure to sign up for the emailed version –>

Thank you to all readers of Neal Obstat. We pray for one another! God be with you.

I will leave you with my second favorite Twenty One Pilots song, Trees. It is a simply profound exploration of the heart of prayer: emerging from hiding to face God and say, “Hello.” I will offer no more explanation than to quote Genesis 3:8-10:

And they heard the sound of Yahweh God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Yahweh God among the trees of the garden. But Yahweh God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”And he said, “I heard the sound of thee in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

26 comments on “Now and again

  1. Carolyn Haar says:

    I think the books will be a great effort producing a lot of fruit!

  2. Joanna Brady says:

    He then said,do you see,son of man?He then took me and brought me back to the bank of the ,when I reached it,l saw an enormous number of trees on each bank of the river.
    He said,this water flows east down to the Arabah and to the sea: and flowing into the sea it makes its waters wholesome.Wherever the river flows,all living creatures teeming in it will live.
    Fish will be very plentiful,for wherever the water goes it brings health,and life teems wherever the river flows.
    There will be fishermen on its banks.
    Fishing nets will be spread from En-Gedi to En-Eglaim.The species of fish will be the same as the fish of the Great Sea . The marshes and lagoons ,however,will not become wholesome, but remain salt.
    Along the river,on either bank,will grow every kind of fruit tree with leaves that never wither and fruit that never fails; they will bear fruit every month,because this water comes from the sanctuary.and the fruit will be good to eat and the leaves medicinal .Ezekiel 47 6- 12………….
    seems to me this IS how Our God works ! Praise be!
    Water into wine , springs into rivers, rivers in to the sea ……Gods speed fellow pilgrim….write and love …love and write …….banks and rivers in equal measures !

    • Joanna — Thank you for bringing us from Eden to Heaven, where the trees once again give life and not death. What a beautiful way to complement that song and my work.
      May we all bear that fruit and spring forth that water wherever we go!

      Pray I can be a means for God to turn

      Water into wine
      springs into rivers
      rivers in to the sea

      God speed fellow pilgrim. Pray I can

      write and love
      love and write
      banks and rivers
      in equal measures

  3. nos. says:

    Thomas,,, how selfish of you… what about me me me !!! I think you should increase your blogging to three times a day morning ,,,noon,,, and night… I’m sure Patti and kids ,your prayer life, your jobs,,,and your leisure time are not as important as my need to be uplifted and nourished by your hyperbole… now hurry up before to many more faithful obstat readers get a hold of this misprint of yours … I’ll check in at noon for my midday nourishment… peace and love my friend,,,

    Post Script ,,,I’m saving my lunch money for a signed copy P.B.W.Y.A.A. hey how was the ordination…

    • HAHA!! NOS I always look forward to your comments here. If I ever get a book done, you will certainly get a signed copy for nuthin’… The ordination was powerful. To see my dear friend Fr. Dustin ordained, and then see so many priests I have known over so many years all at once, was very very moving. Overwhelming. You have a blessed diocese, my friend. God love you and thanks for the peace and love and prayers. Thomas

  4. Ben Patterson says:

    Good call Tom. Take care and I look forward to whatever you have time for down the road.

  5. Victorious Love's husband says:

    Thanks Dr. Neil this gross misfortune is bovine skatology! Now my wife is gone into mourning and is continually wearing black. My house is filled with the sound of John Michael Talbot soothing melancholic melodies of butterfly wings falling off or something to that effect. Now I am forced to hide her Neal Obstat folders, coffee mugs with your face and t-shirts of her theological crush. Please send chocolate and red wine so that we may make it through this very difficult and trying time. Lol!
    You have our prayers for this new chapter of life! Peace friend.

  6. Sherri says:

    A book!!! I heartily would endorse it! Your writing is so gifted, Tom. May the Lord bless you, order your days, fill you with peace and a sure direction, friend. Blessings to you and yours..☺️

  7. bro en spiritu says:

    this post brings me great joy. excited for this next step for you, and to see these gems be mined and polished for all to see!

  8. Bill says:

    Dr. Neil, I’ve rarely left a reply, but please know how incredibly blessed, encouraged, and enlightened I have been by your words, by your heart, by your witness and love for Christ. Thank you!!!

  9. Ona says:

    Can you hear me laughing as you vow yet again to pay more attention to other things? I sympathise with the pain of not writing, as I myself am in something of an agony for having taken my own blogs down for a while. But there’s nothing better than renouncing something one is too keenly attached to, even if it is a very good thing, so as to re-approach it later with greater wisdom (hopefully) and detachment (in the good sense).

    I find particularly ironic the many times I have urged people to undertake ‘reading fasts’ – that is, to stop reading so much, and be attentive to the reality of their lives. For although reading about other people’s spiritual lives can be very inspiring, it is more mixed with escapism than we often realize, in that every hour spent online – even reading spiritual things – is an hour not spent in prayer. It also speaks to wishing your spiritual life were more interesting, like that of the person whose book/site you are reading, while such ‘interestingness’ comes not from reading about it, but from diving into a life of sacrifice and prayer all your own, embracing the messes and joys and banalities and vagaries of your own day to day life (even that tedium at the desk in the office…what is it truly like, if uninterrupted by surfing the web or chatting on WhatsApp?)

    No one ever likes it when I say that. And I was quite annoyed when I took a full dose of my own medicine and reduced reading to a few very specific sources (this and one other blog and two specific books), only to be read during tea/coffee breaks after meals. It’s AMAZING how much time it frees up. My productivity has skyrocketed, too. I also received an initial deluge of complaints. But isn’t it a bit like refusing to do your kids’ laundry when they are big enough to do their own? Go! I said. Go and talk to Him yourself! Stop reading about my stupid life and get out there and pray and be and love and fight the good fight!

    Anyway, a book is definitely a good project to engage with and one I myself will probably fuss with as time goes on. I feel too ignorant at the moment to focus on that. In my case perhaps it will be a coloring book, as that won’t indulge my motormouth.

    I think you will find it very interesting to be with the pain of not writing for a while. Not only to discover the missed joys of other activities that had been unattended to, but also because it can be interesting to simply sit at the foot of the Cross in silence. It’s all the more powerful if one doesn’t have an escape route planned (just for a few days!), but commits oneself to staying right there forever.

    Forgive my tone if it is too grating. I seem not very able to evaluate that lately. And anything I say is really just my own stuff. I joked to my director the other day, I’m not ‘in the desert’ (which sounds so romantic!); I’m in the weeds!! So what comes out is a bit of a mess. You remain in my prayers.

  10. Guada Girl says:

    Veni Sancte Spiritu…Veni per Mariam. Thank you so much for sharing your gifts with us. Your writings have encourage my spiritual life sooooo much. You are my spiritual Father and admire you. You and your family continue to be in my prayers, just thought about you today at daily mass. I hope to one day meet you in person. Maybe at your future book signing 🙂
    Hugs from Los Angeles, Ca.

    PS. 21 Pilots will be in LA in July but ill be in Krakow, Poland but they open another show in Anaheim schedule for February 2017, I got tickets!

  11. nos. says:

    Victorious Loves Husband… I need your address ,,,I’m sending you a bill for the care I required after reading your post..the laughter so intense broke several ribs I’m in the e.r as we speak if I can convince them to comp… the bill I will let you get by with lunch at taco bell… excuse me while I put my black tee shirt on in mourning with your wife ,p.s. I hope she taught you how to make P.B.and J’s…

  12. nos says:

    Ona I to do what doctah kneel says concur that is with small scale ” j” I have so enjoyed your grace filled insight and wisdom… your comment here was meant for my misdirected walk towards eternity the many bends and turns in the trail to eternity are forever being straightened and lighted by ones such as you and other contributors to this beautiful work …PEACE and LOVE to all

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