I am sitting here enjoying a peaceful Sunday afternoon in Northeast Ohio. It is sunny and warm outside and I cut the lawn earlier in the day before it got too hot out there.
I spend most of my days with the parents here in our modest but pleasant middle middle class suburban home. Somehow I have become their primary caregiver over the years but especially this past year.
To say that it is a blessing would be an understatement. I had no intentions of "winding up" here at this point in my life.
I go back 27 years ago when I dragged myself back to that seminary in Connecticut (after having a week to visit my family at home) before I was to enter into formal training and "formation" for religious life and the priesthood. I was 26 years old.
I had spent a summer trying it out as a "candidate" and my only motivation for pursuing religious life was because I thought it was what God wanted me to do.
All I can say in retrospect is that it nearly killed me a number of times before I got that idea out of my head for good.
Delusions can be very dangerous. Religious delusions doubly so.
Anyway, what happened between September 1993 and 2020.
God took me by the scruff of my neck and took me to the brink over and over until I said enough. This cannot be of God or God's will for me and I started to live a life of gratefulness and compassion.
Suddenly "judge not lest ye be judged" became more than a commandment that I would continue to struggle with. It became a way of life.
Suddenly "doing unto others as I would have them do unto me" became more than the second half of the Greatest Commandment.
Loving God "with all my heart and mind and soul" (to paraphrase) were more than a lofty goal to strive for.
It became a reality.
To be quite honest. Nothing changed in me except my conviction that while I was yet a sinner, God loved and accepted me.
Suddenly I had no more excuses. No more axes to grind.
Only a life to live and serve.
How will I end this experimental post (I wrote it with some "fresh folk" music playing in my ears via the music app I use).
I like it.
It is a message of hope. I hope you can see that.
My goal isn't to convince anyone of anything except that we've all got a unique and individual path to follow.
You don't need 20 plus years to "find" happiness or purpose or whatever you might be looking for.
Life isn't supposed to be torture.
That God-Man we "see" hanging on that cross (i.e. Jesus Christ) knew full well what he was doing and more importantly had the power to do it.
That was the whole point of His coming and living and dying and rising again.
That each of us might be free to live our lives well.
Mercy, grace and peace to you (if you want or need it that is.)