On Popes and Retirement

I doubt that there is anyone in this connected world who does not know by now that  Roman Catholic Pope Benedict XVI, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, has announced his retirement as of February 28, 2013. Apparently, many of his closest aides were flummoxed and unprepared for this announcement.  And within moments, the cyberworld starts asking, “Is a new scandal concerning the Roman Catholic church starting to break?”  And, “How can the RC possibly function with two living Popes?” as though Ratzinger is not quite elderly and hardly physically robust, and has already said he will live out the rest … Continue reading On Popes and Retirement

The Phone Call and the Novena

A dear friend of mine phoned earlier this evening.  She refers to herself as my “spiritual mother” and I very much believe it.  She’s in her late 80’s, and is simply beautiful. I describe her as a piece of pure light wrapped in a tiny piece of increasingly frail human flesh. We connected about a year and a half ago.  She had been reading my newspaper columns in the Denton Record Chronicle and phoned to talk with me and see if perhaps the church I serve would be able to embrace her and her unique understanding of Christian spirituality.  I assured … Continue reading The Phone Call and the Novena

Thursday: A Day of Contrasts

Early morning:  fearful.  Bleeding heavily.  Should not be. Mid morning: relief:  Yes, it was a huge tumor (baseball sized), and yes embedded in the wall of the uterus, but definitely contained and benign in nature and now I am forever free of it.  Also relieving:  I’ve torn a stitch, but have not (yet) put a hole where there should not be one. Mid morning:  warned:  I listened to stern words:  activity level must decrease immediately and stay that way for several more weeks or I risk needing repair surgery–while I am in London without the usual medical support from this … Continue reading Thursday: A Day of Contrasts

On Needing Sleep

Every generation and every culture has its own triumphs and makes it own mistakes. We can often see both the triumphs and the mistakes in our child-rearing practices. In the early parts of the 20th century, prevailing wisdom insisted that a child be picked up as rarely as possible and little physical affection given. From that, a generation of structured, emotionally detached parents emerged. Then we had Dr. Spock and the invasion of what was called “permissive child rearing.” Here, parents imposed fewer and fewer limits on children. Such methodology helped produce the group called “baby boomers,” most of whom … Continue reading On Needing Sleep