Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I've worked overnights (affectionately called "dogwatch") for nearly eleven years in a row now and off and on going back for seventeen years. I really love working dogwatch. The only problem is that your sleep cycle gets messed up especially on days off. One such example is tonight. I'm off of work yet at 1 a.m. I woke up and was wide awake. I tried to lay back down to no avail. There were a ton of things bombarding me as I laid down trying to drift asleep--work, kids, Cub Scouts etc etc etc. I don't know of the correct phrase but I tried to just meditate on Jesus and think of him as I tried to sleep. All of these things just kept creeping back into my head. One minute, I'm trying to meditate on Christ's love and the next minute I'm wondering why a squirrel would live under the sea in the kid's cartoon, SpongeBob Squarepants.

Finally, a video that Fr. Jim Chern posted on his Facebook page came to mind and felt appropriate. Fr. Jim is the campus minister for the Neuman Center at Montclair State in New Jersey. Last weekend, they had a lock-in for the students and performed this skit.

I know that the skit was before they did an examination of conscience and confession but I don't know what occurred prior to that so I may be off based on what I saw. (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) In the video, I see God creating a woman and giving her the world. They danced together but the woman allows things to get between her and God: men, money, alcohol, drugs, and concerns about physical appearances. All unassumingly innocent but at the same time Satan is in the background and at the right moment he pounces. He encourages us to destroy ourselves. We are at a point that it doesn't seem that we can ever make our way back to God. But He will be there for us when we turn to Him. God, the giver of Divine Mercy, will sweep away all the bad and give us a clean slate so that we can once again dance with Him.

Those small things that in and of themselves may be innocent can become sin when we allow them to become false idols and to separate us from God. Money can be a good thing but when the desire for money takes us from God it becomes sinful. Alcohol in moderation isn't bad but in excess can lead to destruction. Even concern about physical appearance can be a good thing. Our body is just a part of ourselves as our soul is and a gift of God-we should take care of it. But when it leads to to vanity and eating disorders it leads to sin.

In all, we should allow absolutely nothing to become between us and God. Even when we are taking care of our responsibilities God should always be in view and in the picture. We must take time for prayer. We must ask God to help us make even the simplest decisions.

Finally, it is through sin that we are separated from God but we must never be in so much despair that we think we can never be turn back to God. He always desires relationship with us no matter how far away from him we are. Thankfully, we have the gift of reconciliation to make it so much easier to return to his graces.

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