Abandoning the need for declarations, observing, discerning, taking note of an active God in my life, I find situations illuminating. The men’s meeting today, a reading from St Paul defining the parts of the body of Christ, the living Church. Bishop Robert Baron furthered the idea by identifying the Church as a living organism. Beyond an organization, the Church is an organism, prone to health and prosperity, as well as illness and the potential of death–an organism in perpetual need of divine grace. Within the enduring organism, self-knowledge, acceptance and honesty are essential. I know who I am as I form myself during my immersion into the greater body of the Church. Even to go off with John the Hermit calls for this proper wisdom regarding the immensity and all-embracing nature of the Church. It is something I contradict with him. He is determined to define the life of the hermit as the ultimate spiritual life. I respond that such a point of view is foolishness, instantly negating the very fact it asserts. The first will be last. I enjoy the fact that quite often the men’s meeting at Sacred Heart involves heated conversation. The men are not afraid to disagree, avoiding the spiritually critical fault of being overly-sensitive, while also not allowing passive politeness to shelter delusion. If one’s position insults the many, or few, it most likely is askew, a personal agenda centered within pride or individual brokenness/lack of maturity. For the most part, these are men who have not only been practicing Catholicism seriously throughout their lives, searching for authenticity rather than advanced self-perceived understanding, Being a sincere man of individual integrity ranks supreme. They are men leading families, assisting in the structure and politics of not only the church, yet also associated educational institutions. More than talkers, they are men who get things done, experiencing a broad range of personal experiences. Reading Ivan’s book on St Joseph, a piece of paper fell out. It was a list of Ivan’s eight grandchildren, all eight of them writing a four line snippet on what their grandfather turning ninety meant to them, personal reflections on their grandfather of intense character. It is enlightening and humbling for me a loner and isolator. I comprehend it is not my contemplative path, at least not at this time, yet it is important for me to participate, to witness and understand the complexity and deep broad breadth of the Church. I must not be defensive or offensive, feeling the need to lower or raise myself. I am a brother, unique in my call and being. Nothing more or less. I am positive regarding the fact My Holy Mother strongly desires my participation. Mary placed me amidst the group. Her loving, devoted, and inspiring husband strongly establishing his presence today. That reminds me. Another interesting example of God working in my life. I am visiting family in Toledo, celebrating a sudden expansion of my family as nephews and nieces are having babies left and right, a new generation suddenly emerging. Four babies will be receiving baptism in unison this coming Easter season. I planned on relaxing tonight at my mother’s, reading the new gifted St Joseph books. My intent was to immerse myself in the father of Jesus. I would read about the father of the Holy Family. God asked something different. He wanted me to be a father. My mother is babysitting Andre, one of the babies being baptized. Andre’s mother, my niece, is battling morbid obesity, a spiritually wayward child of adult age, a lost broken young soul. She has basically turned over the raising of her child to my mother. Andre is a companion and sweet consolation to her, and if he asks for me she cannot provide. The father, an African-American young man, does not claim his son. Andre sleeps next to me now. Tonight, I wanted to read about St Joseph, however Andre is so consumed with having a male around him, he crawls all over me, constantly demanding my attention, following me around everywhere I go. I love it. I love him. I read to him. We sing together, watching videos on my laptop, partaking of singalong silly and educational songs, reading about David and Goliath. I have three brothers, nephews, and a brother-in-law. My mother says he is like this with all the males. The toddler instinctually demonstrates the need for a father. God clearly presents the higher path of practicing to be a father, rather than reading about the greatest father. I will have my time to read and further my understanding of St Joseph. Now it is time to be a father for a boy lacking a father. In the morning, he will go to mass with my mother and myself. Once again, I will carry him as I receive communion.
Andre close to trouble