“Great news! I got a promotion . . . and I’m ENGAGED!”
My friend went on and on sharing the romantic story of how her tall, handsome, Catholic man proposed. Everything in her life seemed to be the stuff of her dreams . . . and mine. As she was oozing with excitement, I smiled and was happy for her, but inside I had this strange, silent but sickly feeling of envy. There was this small part of me that wanted her to gain 10 lbs, break out with acne, or just stop talking. (Ok, not my finest moment).
In Matthew 5:28, Jesus says that, “Anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
When Jesus said this, it was completely radical, because he revealed that lust (something that happens inside your heart) is a sin just as much as an external action. What we think with our minds and desire in our hearts is a big deal.
My image of God the Father, enthroned in heaven in flowing white robes and Birkenstock sandals, was overshadowed by my certainty that he didn’t want me to have any fun. Not only was God all about rules, he’d drop anybody that strayed off his path. Parochial school should have taught me how to live but instead I learned how not to die and burn. The result was that I treated Moses’ Commandments with the same reverence I reserved for one of Letterman’s “Top Ten” lists.
The idea of stealing something is totally scary to me. I can’t even imagine the amount of fear that would paralyze me if I ever went to steal something like shoes, cash, or a camera. I would be shaking like a wet puppy in winter. But I would be sweating like it’s Phoenix in July. And I’m also pretty sure that the sick feeling in my stomach, the shame, and the guilt would drive me to return the stolen item the next day. I’m a sensitive person.
“You Shall Not Kill” Exodus 20:13 As a little kid, I was jealous of my neighbor. He was my age, but he could hit the baseball better than I could. He would smack the ball into the outfield and everyone would shout “Run! You can do it!” I never heard “Run!” shouted to me. It was usually “Duck!” or “Open your eyes!” or “Put down the snow-cone until after the game!” We’ve all experienced knowing someone who’s better than you at something or has something Read more [...]
My second favorite day is Sunday. Growing up, Sundays were lazy, watch TV or movies all day in my PJs, don’t brush my teeth until 3:30 pm kind of days. Then after Mass and Life Night, I started my two hours of homework because the rest of day I was clearly too wrapped up in more important things like watching Men in Black three times in a row. I always thought, “Surely this is what God meant when he gave us the 3rd Commandment – Laziness, bad hygiene, and procrastination.”
Then I realized that I was not much better than those pagan voodoo worshipers.
In my head I know that God was the only one worth my worship, but I still found myself turning to so many other relationships, habits, and even sins to save me when I was overwhelmed and in need of help. I knew that Jesus was my Savior, but often I turned anywhere else but towards Him when I needed to be saved from loneliness, hurt, or boredom.
There’s a hole in the side of my parents bathtub and it’s all my fault.
I was 11 years old. We had only lived in our newly built house for 2 years. On this particular evening my siblings and I were getting ready to go to a square dance. Yes, I just said square dance. Leave me alone. It was cool.