From introspection and multiple external confirmations, I know that I’ve become a lot mellower as I’ve gotten older. I’m not quite the reformer/revolutionary I was when I graduated high school twelve years ago. Nor do I have the temper I once had. I’ve even surprised myself, friends, and loved ones by taking on the role of peace-maker, diplomat, or arbitrator. I’m beginning to realize, though, that I rarely fill such a role unless I lack a stake in the matter at hand. When I do, it’s clear that I still have a lot of mellowing to do.
Sometimes I feel as though my emotions are volcanic in nature. Aside from the occasional tremor, I maintain a relatively calm exterior. Deep down, though, I’m really a very angry person; the red hot magma is still bubbling and flowing. It’s come close to breaking out of its rocky shell, but somehow enough heat and pressure are vented off that the volcano remains intact another day. Someday, though…
Some recent unpleasant interactions between Christians have been weighing on my conscience. As I sat in eucharistic adoration this morning, I asked God what I should have done/be doing. Just before leaving the chapel, I prayed morning prayer of the divine office and the scripture reading was this:
“Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:29-32
I think God wanted me to remind myself and others of this teaching. While I’m on the subject, I’ll throw in the following for good measure.
“[T]he whole law is fulfilled in one word, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another take heed that you are not consumed by one another…If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another.” – Galatians 5:15,25-26
Did you hear the new statistic about premarital sex? 90% of people surveyed have had premarital sex.
The results of the analysis indicate that premarital sex is highly normative behavior. Almost all individuals of both sexes have intercourse before marrying, and the proportion has been roughly similar for the past 40 years.
Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. I get so excited that I start listening
to my Christmas music at the beginning of November, much to the surprise and chagrin
of some of my loved ones. This year, I’ve been asking myself what I’ve been getting
excited about. Is it the celebration of Christ’s birth? I wish I could say so, but
the truth is that I’ve been enamored with the secular trappings of the season. Decorating
the Christmas tree, baking cookies, singing catchy tunes, visiting relatives, watching
classic movies, giving and receiving gifts (sadly, mostly the latter), playing in
the snow (in those few lucky winters), and other generally faith-free activities
have been Christmas’ raison d’etre for me.