Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hear Ted?

Saw this window while making a lunch time visit in Holy Spirit Church. Trying to figure out which Ted I should be hearing. Hmmmm. Quick - to Google.

Could this be a plug for Ted Nugent's appearance next week on Fox News Network's new show Money Rocks, or simply a shout out to the career and musical legacy of the loud rocker? I think not and not. Ted Haggard is still sorry, but otherwise seems to be moving on with his ministry/career. Ted Williams frozen head isn't saying anything. I'll put him in the not likely having anything new to "hear" column along with Roosevelt and Kennedy. Ted Turner? Well - this was a church window.

Then it occurred to me - Saint Theodore! Yeah, that's the ticket. I pointed my keyboard towards this mystery saint only to find out that there were quite a lot of Saint Theodore's. Monks, martyrs, bishops, martyrs, soldiers, and more martyrs. I read of Saint Theodore I and Saint Theodore II. Also Saints Theodore of Cantbury and Bologna, Cyrene, Egypt, Studites and Sykeon. And of course, Saint Theodore's of Tabenna, Tarsus, Pausilippus, Pavia, Stratelates, Antioch and Trichinas. Oh, and St. Theodore the Sacrist.

Holy, courageous, inspiring, often tragic, and yet ultimately victorious men. Still, I did not come upon any direct quotes from any of them to "hear." Then I found St. Theodore Guerin, the newest of the Sainted Theodore's, also known as Saint Mother Theodore Guerin. Yes - no Theodora, yet still a lady. Mother Theodore Guerin was beatified by John Paul II in 2008, and as it turns out, is very much quoted. What follows are a few of my favorites, and definitely worth "hearing." For more on this awesome Nun and Foundress, visit the internet home of the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary of the Woods.

Regarding the Eucharist:

“Send your heart a thousand times a day to adore our Lord really and truly present in the Holy Sacrament.”

Regarding the human quality and simplicity to Mother Theodore’s perception of God

[God] shares our miserable dwelling with us. He remains with us day and night. Yes, while you are peacefully sleeping Jesus is watching over you.” “The spirit of faith consists in doing our actions for God, in His presence, to look upon all events of life as directed by Him.”

Very cool indeed. I'm glad I decided to "Hear-Ted." Thanks window.

Friday, June 4, 2010

National Donut Day

It's National Donut Day! Time to string lights on the Donut Tree, sing Donut Carols, head outside to the yard to see if the Donut Bunny hid any Donut Holes, and check the news to see if Dunxsutawney Daryll saw his shadow when he climbed out of his pink box.

Rings, bars, filled, or simply the hole - get ye to a donut. There are a lot to choose from: Crullers, Vanities, Comfits, Fritters, Long Johns, Boston cream doughnuts, Potato doughnuts, Sour cream doughnuts, Simball, Olicook, Olykoecks, Bear claws, Elephant Ears, Yum Yums, Fasnachts, Frying Saucers, Bear sign (cowboy slang for ring doughnuts) and Johnnycakes. My personal favorite: the apple fritter. Bought my last one right down the street at Yum Yum Donuts. Nothing on their site regarding free donuts, but maybe your local one is celebrating the big day. FREE DONUTS are out there today - if you're reading this in real time. Friday, June 4, 2010. Check out Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts for more info on their observance of National Donut Day.

I have decided to honor National Donut Day by re-running my original blog post which kind of explains why I named this blog "Will There Be Donuts?" in the first place. Happy National Donut Day!


Will There Be Donuts?

I remember one Sunday morning a few years back, my wife and I were hurriedly buckling the kids into the minivan trying to beat the start time for the next Mass at St. Convenience's. St Convenience is any parish other than your usual parish that has a mass time which most closely fits an altered Sunday itinerary. You either slept in late because of a pretty good Saturday night, or you're going in early so that you can squeeze in an all day event immediately afterwards. Basically minimum requirement triaging. I don't remember the specific reason for that Sunday morning, but I do remember explaining the change in our schedule to our youngest as I buckled her into her carseat. She had only one question.

"Will there be doughnuts?"

"Oh no!" I thought, "The carrot has been taken from the stick - and she knows." I also remember making the attempt to ease her disappointment with a little preschool catechesis, and I think I remember not being very successful.

It wasn't her fault. She had a very good right to be disappointed, because it really wasn't about the donuts. This particular daughter usually orphaned her donut after a single bite and ran off to be busy with the real attraction of coffee hour. Being in the moment of community. Outside voices inside (with an outside option on most days.) Running, weaving through the maze of chairs and tables, giddy laughing, untethered. Finding friends, or making some. The happy buzz of dozens of voices speaking at once, as one.

At mass, we the collected, the unsorted assembly, are called to be one. We are called to communion. We are called to become one body. In the Eucharist, we become that one body. Even though we rush in from so many different points of view and states of grace, our God re images us into one harmonious people. Is it wrong then, to want to take this gift from the politeness of our pews and not immediately disperse it to the parking lot? Isn't it a good thing to commit twenty more minutes for a kind of second communion, to spend time actually in communion with the other human faces of our Lord's Eucharistic presence? I mean, most of the people we worship with and share the miracle with, never get past a hand shaking relationship with us. Head nods and smiles and parking lot waves.

We should let the kids run a bit. They've been (mostly) quiet for an hour. We could have a cup of coffee and maybe a refill. Find out how George's surgery went. Hear about Tom and Joy's vacation. Get an update on the Smith's kids, and their kid's kids. Welcome the stranger. Listen to the aged. Share stories. Plan plans. Dream dreams. Grow together.

Donuts can be a very good thing. Maple bars. Old fashioned. Jelly filled. Come on people. Let there be donuts.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Rumbly In My Tumbly

Here I come again, running to God like a kid with a handful of sweaty quarters and a sweet tooth. Hit the knees.

"Father, Son, Holy Spirit. God, I need a (FILL IN BLANK.)"

Quarter. Quarter. Quarter. F4.

My prayer life is often a little heavy on prayers of petition and a little light on the other forms of prayer: blessing, thanksgiving, intercession, and praise. It's not that I disregard the other forms, it's just that when I'm navigating a particularly tough stretch of road, some of the other forms don't spontaneously manifest themselves within the situation as naturally as a good desperate priority 1 petition. Driving in fog. In the dark. Low on fuel. Crisis tends to draw one away from theological considerations, and more towards the basic, "Get me there, Lord. Just get me there. Hail Mary, full of grace . . ."

A side note about that rough stretch of road - it's a long stretch. One thing that I've learned is that one crisis always seems to replace another. We are always in need, totally dependant on our God. The Catechism teaches us "that every need can become the object of petition." Our needs tend to get our attention, like the arm waving school kid who sits right in front of the teacher. They also tend to mess with our subconscious thoughts, like the posse flanked bully stealthily punching bellies in the hallway between classes.

Needs. Needs. Needs. Love. Health. Forgiveness. Stature. Victory. Safety. Less fog. Missing car keys. A Snickers Bar.

I'm sure that God understands that the noisy demands of any given moment heavily influence the time we spend with him, steering us more towards being a friend in need than a friend indeed.

Fear. Pain. Loneliness. Sorrow. Anger. Envy. These are the hungers that drive our spiritual appetite. Our indicators that we have a need. We get a rumbly in the tumbly and it's time for something sweet. This isn't just metaphorical, either. Stress or heartache can easily create the need for an actual Kit Kat bar or a cold pint of Ben & Jerry's. So off we go, quarters in hand, to visit God's Vending Machine.

"Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God." Phillipians 4:6

Paul's admonition to petition with confidence, with thanksgiving built into our asking, allows us to blend our asking prayer with a prayer of thanksgiving. Multitasking with a single prayer. Isn't God great? Hey. Now we're praising too.

Visualizing God's generous presence among us as a vending machine also gives image to a problem we can bring to our prayer requests. The rows of brightly wrapped candies illustrate our wants, not our needs. The object or condition we desire is our own personal answer to our problem, a definitive condition linked to our petition, telling God instead of asking. I believe that if God installed prayer petition snack machines in the back of our Churches, there would only be one button. It would read: A1 - Thy Will Be Done. God already knows what we need before we even press the button. (Matthew 6:8) We are experts at knowing THAT we need. Not always on WHAT we need.

Also, God's vending machine wouldn't require any quarters, and it would always be in perfect working order. If we push the button with chocolate on our mind and a carrot drops into the bin, we should count it all joy, and make like a hungry rabbit. If nothing were to drop, we shouldn't kick the machine, but thank God for the generous invitation to fast, or realize that the snack was delivered to someone even hungrier. Hey - now we're doing intercessory prayer!

Forgiveness. Joy. Healing. Conversion. Companionship. Love. Eternal life. Found keys. Clear roads. A Snickers Bar. Wow! There's some really nice stuff in that vending machine. Press the button.