Tag Archives: Catholic Church

It Was a Good Week

Credit: Stock Free Images

…nobody I know got killed in South Central L.A.

                                                           –Ice Cube, “It Was a Good Day”

I really enjoy reading blogs. Not just the ones on WordPress, but in other regions of the blogosphere as well.

I have to admit, I am drawn to those that are humorous or that cheer me up. No offense to those who have dark, serious content (ahem); it appeals to a part of me for sure. The other part of me, though, really wants to feel good and smile sometimes (Yes, I have been known to smile from time to time.).

I was kicked to the curb recently by yet another psychiatrist who claimed that my particular health insurance was a “headache.” I’ve also been having lots of trouble adjusting to my new medication: I am constantly in a daze, and a few days ago I mistook a red traffic light for a four-way stop. Luckily my wife was beside me; without her scream, something terrible could have happened.

Back to the point of this post. I wanted to write about the positive things that have been going on in my life. God reminds me ever so often to count my blessings.

This was a good week. For one, I was off the whole week, my stretch of R & R before the fall semester begins later this month. My sons are still on summer break, so we’ve had a terrific time. Some of the highlights include: spending the day at a water park, one of the few places that all four of us really gel as a family — and where my wife and I laugh and play like kids; having an afternoon snackfest at Starbucks — another place where my wife and I forget our “problems” and chit-chat endlessly while sipping our Frappuccinos, our kids silent as they wolf down lemon pound cake and double fudge brownies; a trip to the aquarium (My sons are obsessed with sharks, so watching them squeal with delight made my wife and me extremely happy.); and yesterday I was able to attend church for the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary since I normally work until late at night on Thursdays.

Sure, there were moments when things weren’t “perfect,” but I chose not to dwell on those times. Plus, the enjoyable family time we had far outweighed the problems. I officially go back to work on Monday, so I still have a few days left of my break. I did have to take some naps in the middle of the day due to my medication, however; but, overall, it was a really good week.

Years ago, I attended a teaching conference in Seattle. The highlight of that weekend was visiting the cemetery where Bruce Lee and his son, Brandon, are buried. I went there as an excited tourist, snapping photos of the beautiful headstones, but I left in a much more somber mood after reading the inscription etched on Brandon’s grave:

Because we don’t know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that’s so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even that. How many times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.

So, even if you’re going through a lot and there appears to be no light at the end of the tunnel, count your blessings. Savor every moment with loved ones. Find things that put a smile on your face. Because, in life, unexpected things happen.

~t


Being Catholic and Mental

This will really sound weird to you.

You see, I tend to be negative, I’m a bit unbalanced upstairs, I’m a survivor of two suicide attempts, and… here’s where it gets weird… I’m also a practicing Catholic.

How is that possible, you ask?  I have no idea.

I used to practice Wicca, then I got into Zen meditation, and then I found my way home and ended up in the Church.

Oh, and I’m also a fourth-degree member of the Knights of Columbus.

So… Anyway, here are some examples of my thinking.  I usually see this:

virgin-mary-0401

But sometimes I see this instead:

demon_woman_by_lordplegeus-d523xjh

I know, I know.  That’s pretty messed up.  So why am I even posting these images?  I thought you were a Catholic?

Well, I guess I’m still struggling with mastering my mind, to paraphrase St. Paul.

In case you’re wondering, I try not to have lustful thoughts or commit sins of impurity.  Sometimes I fall, though, and it torments the hell out of me.  I go to confession and am forgiven, though.  Thank goodness for the Sacraments.

So, doesn’t the above photo cause me to lust or go to a dark place in my mind?  Well, I’m getting a better grasp on my problem.  For example, I can look at the above image and the one below and be okay.  However, that’s like running with scissors: pretty soon I’m bound to get injured.

Let’s move on.

Usually I think of this:

nuns

But sometimes my mind goes here:

fear nuns

One reason I started this blog was to be open about the strange stuff that goes on in my mind.  I originally started a version of this blog that was on the negative side (i.e. more graphic images and descriptions of the demons that torment me; potty-mouth words and phrases), but then I started thinking: What is the purpose of it all?  I made myself fall into sin by the very things that I was posting about!

God was nagging me from the beginning of this blog idea, however.  You know how we tend to ignore Him when He wants us to change and listen to Him?  Well, I was bound and determined to do my blog MY way — forget the fact that it was harming me and putting false notions of the Church in people’s minds.

So I listened to God.  I prayed, and, with advice from my psychiatrist, I decided to listen to the Holy Spirit and turn this blog into something positive (and PG rated!).  And before I realized what was happening, God had given me a ministry.

We’ll see where all of this goes.  All I am going to do is keep blogging about my faith and experiences with my mental health, and the Lord will direct the way for me.  Most important, I will be receptive to His voice.

~topaz