Thursday, January 1, 2015



Somehow over the holidays I got wind of Pope Francis's Christmas remarks to the Roman Curia, which pleased me no end--especially in the translation I read, which listed fifteen "diseases," among them "The Disease Accumulating" [sic], "The Disease of Closed Circles," and "The Disease of  Excessive Planning and Functionalism."

But perhaps my favorite was the following:

"12. The disease face funeral. That people gruff and grim, they consider that to be serious need to paint the face of melancholy, severity and treat others - especially those deemed inferior - with stiffness, hardness and arrogance. In reality, the severity theatrical and pessimism sterile are often symptoms of fear and insecurity about himself. The apostle must strive to be a person polite, calm, enthusiastic and cheerful that conveys joy wherever he is. A heart full of God is a happy heart that radiates with joy and infects all who are around him: you can see it right away! Therefore we do not lose that spirit joyful, full of humor , and even self-deprecating, that makes us lovely people, even in difficult situations.  As well there is a good healthy dose of humor! We will do very well often recite the prayer of St. Thomas More: I pray every day, it does me good."

A sense of humor, however sometimes shaken, stood me in good stead in 2014 and I pray it will stand me in good stead in 2015.

Speaking of which, I suddenly realized I have a killer coda to my Christmas eve Mass rant. All you Pope Francis haters will love it. I love it because it shows that, just as I suspected, my own narcissism is the operative point. I'll write it up as soon as I have time.

This time of my life feels especially rich and full. While some folks my age are preparing to retire, I'm working up a head of steam to forge onward into ever-more uncharted territory. 2014 was stupendous, including my summer on the East Coast and the folks there with whom I was reunited and those who I met (Altoon!) for the first time.

If all goes as planned, the coming year will bring much travel and many adventures.  Actually, even if it doesn't go as planned, it will bring many adventures...

I barely marked the fourth year anniversary of the blog, which occurred last August. That's been its own adventure: a labor of love that's shaped me in ways I hadn't anticipated and from which I get way more than I could ever give.

I can't say how grateful I am for your readership and for your companionship--which, as you may know, comes from the Latin cum pane: with bread.

May 2015 bring us all closer in love, in peace.



  1. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis--joy is the serious business of Heaven! A joyful new year to you and all, and I hope to remember Pope Francis's words when I'm getting too serious for my own good.

  2. I love the "spirit joyful, full of humor....". It reminds me that a Buddhist friend told me that the monks are always laughing, that joy is an essential part of their religious lives.
    And what a delight to meet you too! I'm so glad you came here since I'm not one for travel these days; adventures galore, but not travel.
    To a beautiful New Year!

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  4. You seem to hit it on the head when you write : "my own narcissism is the operative point" I can relate to that ! You really got mad with that cleric guy didn't you, I wonder whether you got the chance afterwards to rip him apart ! Ha
    A good pal, mystic said to me the other day:"if you were to take away the Church, clergy, the Pope, the Vatican the whole lot, you would be left just with the loving Father God and that's ok " he had a point .
    Where are you going on your next Retreat to listen to the Thunder of God's Silence ? !


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