Those who are just must be kind

It’s your first baby. It has been great. Sure, it has been hard work, but what a bundle of joy. And tomorrow is the last day of maternity leave. You have a great job and love the people you work with. Maybe you should stay home longer? Maybe the family can get by on one salary? But there is a great day care center near work. Maybe we could nanny-share with a neighbor? But the big project that you really want to be part of is coming up…. Such is the circumstance of ambivalence. Continue reading

Pandemic and Prayer

Four months ago, Florida announced its first coronavirus cases. On Sunday, it broke the US record for the number of cases reported in one day — 15,300 with positivity levels almost 20%. Reuters noted that if Florida were a country, “it would rank fourth in the world for the most new cases a day behind the United States, Brazil and India.” Continue reading

Naval Deployment and Pandemic

Here is an interesting link to an AP-wire story by Lolita Bador on how the pandemic is affection naval deployments: “The two U.S. warships in the Middle East weren’t aiming to break a record. But when the coronavirus made ship stops in foreign countries too risky, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and the USS San Jacinto were ordered to keep moving and avoid all port visits. On Thursday, as they steamed through the North Arabian Sea, they notched their 161st consecutive day at sea, breaking the previous Navy record of 160 days. And they’re on pace to crush it, since they won’t hit land again until they get home to Virginia later this year.” You can find the entire article here.

Perception, priorities, and possible paths

For the first 70 days of the pandemic when the area church’s shutdown, my days were long and demanding for a whole variety of reasons. Eventually we hit the steady-state of a new normal. I took a breath and decided to take up reading. I had long had Jared Diamond’s “Collapse” on my “I want to get around to reading” list. The promo for the book is “Environmental damage, climate change, globalization, rapid population growth, and unwise political choices were all factors in the demise of societies around the world, but some found solutions and persisted.”  In other words, why did some societies collapse while other survived. It is not a short read, not overly academic, but was an engaging narrative even if “slow” at times. Continue reading

Essential Service

President Trump recently announced “The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now, this weekend. If they don’t do it, I will override the governors.” While his powers to do so were questionable to say the least, I am glad that he considers houses of worship and their religious services essential. I would not disagree on that particular point, but would note that a large percentage of citizens do not attend weekend worship services at all plus another group of of households that participate irregularly. My Church has its own C&E Catholic faithful (that’s Christmas and Easter only – although to be fair, Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday are also part of that particular mix). So, while I would agree on the essential nature of Mass and worship services, obviously they are not essential in the minds of all. Continue reading

The Next Steps

USNA-graduationWe are firmly in the midst of high school and college graduation season. And sadly, this year, the rites of passage and mark of accomplishment is required to find new ways to celebrate. Ways that honor the women and men and salute their efforts…but in 2020 these events are not the joyful celebration that we had hoped for. So, all graduates, know that you are in my thoughts and prayers as you celebrate and consider your next steps. Because pageantry aside, the next steps are key, defining, and part of the sea change you will experience in the next few years…. it has me thinking about my college graduation and my “next steps.”

Every institution has their own traditions and ways to celebrate – including my alma mater, the United States Naval Academy. Every May, the seniors march on to the field at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium for graduation. The women and men are dressed in their “choker” whites (future Naval Officers) and blues (future Marine Corp officers). Theses graduating midshipmen take their places, listen to the speakers of the day, walk across the stage to receive their diploma, take the oath of office, and then it happens… Continue reading

How beautiful

Salvador Dali’s painting “Ascension” is certainly one of the most provocative paintings depicting the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus. The symbolic elements are many, the speculations even more, and the agreement on meaning is still up for grabs. But I sometimes tend to focus on some of the more realistic elements cast among the surrealistic things. While the art experts discuss the finer points of Dali, his life, faith, and his work – I am fascinated by perspective, as well as the hands and feet. The former as though clutching at something; the latter soiled and showing the wear and tear of life on earth. Continue reading

Finding our way

Today our parish will offer our first public Mass in some 60 days. It is not as simple as opening the doors to the church and celebrating in the usual way. There are limitations on the number of people that can be admitted. We have roped off every other pew (actually we used ribbon) and limited access to only the main aisle. We are required to have ushers at the door equipped with a counter so that once we reach the prescribed number of people, no further entry will be allowed. Continue reading