14 November 2013

I Stand With Thomas Peters

Today Thomas and Natalie Peters ask your help!

When Thom was in a swimming accident four months ago, he caused damage to his spine, specifically the were brae in his neck. His recovery has been difficult, but, by the grace of God, miraculous.

As the first six months after an accident like this are critical for telling of what recovery will be had, I join them in asking for your prayers and support for (and beyond) these next two months. Thom has already showed remarkable progress and wrote a message on his recovery blog at the start of the month (read here: http://tpetersrecovery.blogspot.com/2013/11/from-thomas-peters-reflections-on-my.html?m=1. **A proper link will be set up when I'm on a computer instead of my phone.).

Pray for further recovery for Thom, strengthening of his muscles again, strength and perseverance for Natalie, trust and faith for their marriage, a loving support system in their families and a continued smooth transition into their new house.

We are so thankful for you, Thom and Natalie. Your example of strength and love is inspiring.

12 November 2013

Pray for the Philippines

If you're anything like me (usually oblivious to the news) and haven't heard about the typhoon in the Philippines...I don't even know what to say to you.

Actually I do.

"It's like the end of the world," Nancy Chang said. This article at Sky News gets real--real fast. Looting, little government or military control, destroyed traveling routes, family separation, increasing casualty count.... The entire article is shocking, showing an image of two men dragging a corpse, quoting a pregnant woman who has lost track of her family, a count of 480,000 whose homes have been destroyed, no count but "hundreds" who wait in lines for food, continual counts that are impossible to imagine.

Stop and read that article. Maybe you'd like to breeze past it because it's easier to pretend it isn't happening, but it is.

If you can give (if you're reading this, you can give), please do. Cross Catholic Outreach is ones group which is aiding the Philippines right now (and it gives 95% of its donations to the actual cause, which is actually great compared to other relief groups).

In addition, there's nothing like the power of prayer at times like this. Anyone know if there are novenas or prayer-a-thons going on to St Joseph or St Rose of Lima for the Philippines? PFrancis is at it on Twitter as usual. :)

Things to pray for: family and friends reunited, travel routes to be opened (for transfer of food, medicine and other goods), priests to provide the gift of the Sacraments (especially Last Rites), comfort for those who mourn, conversion of the hardest hearts, respect for the dead, concrete aid, hope instead of despair, acts of charity instead of violence, a community of peace instead of chaos.

05 November 2013

The Problem of the Post-Grad

I have been trying to take up journaling again. The following was an earlier entry.

I'm worried that this is as good as it gets.
At some point you can't go back and I think that is what bothers me the most. I can't go back to save the boy. I can't go back to tell myself to just go home before I get into a bigger mess. I can't go back to relive the days friendship was strongest in order to revel in it. I can't go back to repeat each moment of glory and wonder and awe. 
It is a two-facet phenomena, in which I am first unable to alter the things I would prefer not to have happened and in which I am unable to hold to the moments which were so good I desire to experience them continually.
It is truly life-or-death tragic and it is nostalgic and melancholic tragic.
The good thing about Heaven is that the former will no longer matter and the latter will be forever. The bad thing about Hellwhich I most fearis the former will be my self-inflicted torture and the latter will be nevermore.
I'm worried that this is as good as it gets. And that isn't good enough.

This transitory phase I am experiencing post-university is stranger and more unsettling than the transitory phase I experienced going to university. It seems counter-intuitive: after school I am wiser, I have a better understanding of myself, I have friends I can rely upon, I have a miraculous gift in the Catholic Church. Yet it is as if a great understanding is evading me. College is supposed to give you the tools to face the world, but I don't think college taught me how to apply for jobs for which I am over-qualified or what to do when my major of study is no longer exhilarating or how to trust people, how to trust yourself, when they say it all works out.

I don't think this issue is particular to myself. Friends with whom I graduated seem to be going along the road of life as certainly as I. But this isn't like the Life board game. I haven't played it to know what curves life is going to throw at me. It isn't even a problem that life may will be difficult; it is that I don't know when. I don't know when I should slow down and savor the moment or when to exit the room as quickly as possible because one wrong stance or word or friendship that buds in the next ten seconds could throw my life off the tracks for the next ten years.

Would anyone believe me if I said that wasn't dramatic?

So what's the problem with post-grad? It's the same problem faced by anyone who looks up from his mundane routine to face questions of existence and purpose. Life is big with infinite variables and, as exciting as life can and should be, it is also terrifying and confusing and tragic. I think we need to acknowledge the scary parts of life more, and remind ourselves that it is natural to be concerned. The thing which saves us from the downward spiral is an ascensionwhether that manifests itself in friendship or art or laughter or God (Who of course provides all three).

The need for this ascension is probably why I buy wine and have dance parties (both at the simultaneously proper and unconventional times).

Dance party on, my friends. We'll make it.