Monday, August 30, 2010

Jesus is My Friend

I got an email this morning who gave me a link to 10 Unintentionally Hilarious Christian Music Videos at Christian Colleges Online and it reminded me of a segment they do on my favorite radio show, The Catholic Guy Show on Sirius 159/XM 117 satellite radio (3pm Central, replay at 11pm Central.) They bring on Kayla from The Message Amped and play parts of 4-5 songs and then rank them in an attempt to spread the word that there is good contemporary Christian Music and that it's not all like the below video that all good TCGS listeners will recognize:

The link to the 10 Unintentionally Hilarious Christian Music Videos is great. Check it out---it even shows a video fro MC Hammer and definately check out Lino Rulli on The Catholic Guy Show!

Friday, August 27, 2010


One of my favorite bloggers, Danielle Bean, had a really nice article at National Catholic Register titled "No Need to Imagine" about Mercy Me's song, "I Can Only Imagine" and the true presence. It starts off:

I have always like the inspirational song, "I Can Only Imagine," made popular by the contemporary Christian group, "Mercy Me." While some popular Christian songs have lyrics that are problematic for Catholics (Mary Did You Know, anyone?) I never I never really considered the lyrics to this particular song problematic in anyway.

And there isn't really a problem. But as the video above makes clear, there does exist a more Catholic way of looking at the lyrics of "I Can Only Imagine."

The video and the rest of the article can be found here:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Eucharistic Prayer Part 2

Yesterday I wrote about the prayer I say after receiving the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus in the Eucharist. I explained about the first half of the prayer and here is the second half:

Thank you for my friends. Help me to be a good friend in return. Help me to be like the friends of the paralytic who carried their friend to Jesus.

Thank you for a job that I truly do love. Help keep my people safe and keep all people safe. Help my people to be in the right place at the right time to help people and help them to catch the bad guy.

But thank you the most for sending your son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross for our transgressions so that we can have everlasting life.

My friends--What do I say about my friends---next to my family they are the most important thing in the world to me. You see, your family has to love you because they are your family. Your friends though---they simply love you for who you are. A good friend will make your cruddy day happy again. A good friend will make a good day just fantastic. They'll make you life. They are like the cherry on top of a Hot Fudge Sundae! I only ask God that he makes me a good friend to my friends and that I help them to find Christ. In the Bible there is a story of a paralyzed man whose friends carried him to see Jesus in order to heal him. The place was so packed so that what they did was carry him to the roof, cut a hole in the ceiling, and lower him down. I'm not sure anyone wants me to cut a hole in their roof but I want to be a friend like that---doing everything I can possible do to help them find Jesus.

I have a great job. I love it! I can't imagine doing anything else. I ask that God keeps me and all of my people safe from harm. I ask that he puts my people in the right place at the right time in order to help others. And help them to arrest bad guys----help them to find the murderers, rapists, robbers, and burglars and to keep the city safe.

And this may seem odd to put it last but I like it there because it's the last thing that I think of in the prayer and I hope that I carry it with me throughout the day. Thank you Lord for becoming incarnate and giving his life for us. The ultimate sacrifice will help me the I am in Heaven forever.

I realize that there are a ton of other things that I could pray for and should add---such as my family. My family raised me and helped me to become the man I am today. Yeah---I think I will fix it up just a little.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My Eucharistic Prayer Part I

After communion, I go back to my seat and I say a little prayer of thanksgiving. It's something that has evolved over the years. It's something personalized to me but I thought I would share it. It is simply:

Thank-you, Lord for everything you have given me. I realize that every heartbeat, every breath, is a gift from you. Help me to do the best with the gifts that you have given to me so that I will lead my life the way that you want me to.

Thank you with my super beautiful, smoking hot wife. Help me to be a good husband to her. Help me to be always faithful and always loving.

Thank you for my three wonderful kids. Please keep them health. Help me to be a good Father and roll model and to lead them to heaven. (sometime I add it, "help me to make it out of mass before I smack any of them upside the head.)

Thank you for my friends. Help me to be a good friend in return. Help me to be like the friends of the paralytic who carried their friend to Jesus.

Thank you for a job that I truly do love. Help keep my people safe and keep all people safe. Help my people to be in the right place at the right time to help people and help them to catch the bad guy.

But thank you the most for sending your son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross for our transgressions so that we can have everlasting life.

The first half seems pretty simple. Basically, I know that everything in my life is a gift from God. Everything in my life has been given to me and can easily be taken away from me. Every time my heart beats or my lungs take a breath is because he allows it to happen and I owe Him my eternal gratitude. I only hope that I complete in my life all of the goals that he wants me to complete. I'm not sure what they are but I hope I make Him happy.

My wife, Abby---whoa momma--what my life would be without her. That thought scares me. She is such a blessing. Everything is my life makes sense because of her. I only hope that I make her half as happy as she makes me.

Finally, my kids---they truly are a gift from God. It's impossible to explain the love you feel towards your own children until you have your own. Watching them grow and mature is just an incredible joy. My oldest is starting out as a freshman in high school and about to try to go get her driver's permit. My son is very special to put it simply but in the end it doesn't matter because he is "my boy." My youngest is a girly girl and one of the sweetest people you will ever meet. I hope that I raise them to be pleasing to God and that they will always know how much I love them.

That's the first half. Like I said, it's a simple prayer and more to follow soon.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Courage: The Backbone of Leadership

I attended a five day course last week on "High Core Values/Courageous Communication" that is based on Gus Lee's book, "Courage: The Backbone of Leadership." The course centers around the high core values which are integrity, courage and character. The course then shows you how to live those values. Part of living those values is being able to communicate effectively and being able to stand up for what is right.

I've always tried to keep an open mind about the leadership courses offered at the academy but always been kind of leery because I feel like if you are trying to live your life the way God wants you too you should already be living those values that they teach you in these leadership courses. I think there is still something to be said for that. If we live our lives the way God wants us to then we will be the best person that we can be.

But there is a different perspective they give that I appreciated in this course and that I took out of it. That was that I need to take the interior change that I'm always looking to make and by living those values I transfer them over to other people. In order to do that, I have to live up to those values and allow other people to challenge me when they see me not living up to those values.

Another way I need to live those values is by standing up and correcting wrongs when I see them. When you do this, you aren't only living up to your values but you are also challenging them to live up to their own values. This is difficult to do. We are afraid of being judged. We are afraid of "imposing our values on others." But isn't that what courage and integrity are all about? Having the fortitude to stand up for what is right?

Part of what goes along with this is the communication technique that you use. The book talks about talking collegiately, listening, empathy, asking questions. Basically, it talks about speaking with the person about the values that you want to convey with love while not being judgmental because you really are trying to understand their view point.

In a capsule, the two main things I got from the course can be encompassed in two quotes. The first is by Mahatma Gandhi, "We must become the change we want to see in the world." and the second is from Proverbs 27:17, "As steel sharpens steel, so man sharpens his fellow man." It's now up for me to take these idea and take them to the world.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Living Saints

One of the cool things about Catholicsm is it's the use of saints. By looking at saints, are are able to see real people who went through real struggles and succeeded and ended up in Heaven. We can then ask those saints for their intercessions just like we may ask a close friend to pray for us. Of course there are more saints than those recognized by the Church. Anyone who dies and goes to heaven are saints. They just haven't been "canonized" by the church. There is another type of saint though. Saint actually means, "holy person." This means that you don't even really actually have to be dead to be a saint. I'm fortunate enough to know two "living saints." These people are role models for me and people I can look up to.

One of the best decisions I ever made was asking my Aunt Joy to be my son's Godmother. Her husband, Alan (other wise known as "that guy with Joy") is his Godfather. Joy just exudes happiness---which is a good thing given her name. She is always smiling, laughing and cracking jokes. Yet, at the same time she is a very pious woman who is not shy to show her love of God. She reminds me that it's possible to be religious and still have a good sense of humor.

Another living saint I know, I happen to know because of this blog. She started reading it, befriended me on Facebook. We became closer friends on there and eventually started talking in real life. We have even since met. She is closer to my age and she'd kill me for posting this about her so I'm at not going to mention her name. I've been blessed to get to know her and talk with her as she has going through some medical issues. I've also been fortunate to get to know her daughter as well. Her courage, strength, humility and how she has dealt with her suffering through her medical issues is just incredible and I'm very proud of her. Her prayer life is also something that I look up to.

These aren't the only two living saints and these two will totally deny my "accusation" that they are living saint. But I know others too--my mother for instance--who represent all that is good and who I consider to be living saints. I'm so blessed to know these people and hope that they rub off on me and hope they put in a good word to the Big Guy for me!

The Blessed Sacrament

I've been going to adoration weekly with a friend for a few weeks. Normally, I meet them at Our Lady of Good Counsel in the Westport area of KC. Thursday I stayed closer to home and went to my home parish at Holy Family. I took this picture with my Droid X on they way out.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Cookie Was Right! (But the Cake is a Lie!)

So, a little confession from your Roman Catholic Cop. I like Chinese food. That's not really a confession you may be thinking. But I like your junk Chinese food. Not the types from your nice, authentic Chinese restaurant (or, as they call them in China--restaurants) but the Chinese food from your fast food type of places, like Panda Express or those ones in the food court at the mall. YUMMY! I know it's sort of like saying you like Taco Bell compared to a nice Mexican Restaurant. The food isn't the same at all. But the one thing that is the same is the fortune cookie! I just happened to go to Panda Express on Monday and the fortune that I got really spoke to me. It was one of those you actually keep and stick on your bulletin board. It's says, "Look towards the future, but not so far as to miss today."

"Look towards the future, but not so far as to miss today." That speaks volumes to me. I'm the type of person who is always looking ahead. In boot camp, every day was, "68 days (or how ever many days it was) and a wake up!" I'm the type of person who, at least mentally, marks the days off on the calendar. I'm looking ahead thinking, "One day the kids will be gone and my house will be clean!" I'm the type of person who gets all worried about something that MIGHT happen. I'll be on vacation and instead of enjoying myself I will be fretting about having to go back to work. Heck, I sometimes worry about what MAY happen instead of enjoying what IS happening.

It's good, I think, to look towards the future. It helps us set goals. It helps us keep on task. tI defeats the every day boredom that comes about. It's good to visualize ourselves as having lost that ten pounds, graduated college or being healthy. If we just live in the now we loose those goals and aspirations and it can make the future much more difficult for us. By looking towards the future we become disciplined so that we can attain those goals and dreams.

It's also good to look towards the past, but again, not to live there. It's important to look and see how we have done--whether good or bad. It's good to remember where we have come from so that we can see where we are and where we are going. It can be an encouragement. It can be a wake up call. It's good to see what types of sins we've committed in order that we don't commit them again. But we can't live there. That's just sad. It's sad to see someone who is still living in there "glory days" and their life stinks now. It's sad to focus on our pasts sins when we've already confessed them and been forgiven but we haven't forgiven ourselves.

We are in the present and that is where we should focus most of our attention, even if we are in a bad situation. While sometimes there is nothing for us to do, it is in the present that we can fix things we have done in the past and prepare ourselves for the future. But we must always concentrate right now on being the best person we can possibly be right at this moment. Just as God is timeless, we have to kind of float between the past, the future and the present. But we must concentrate on the present.

Don't worry about the past. Don't worry about the future. And CERTAINLY don't miss today. You'll miss things. You may miss the enjoyment of your friends and family because you are worried about what may happen. That's why the cookie was right, "Look towards the future, but not so far as to miss today."

Monday, August 16, 2010

It's Mary's Fault

Sunday was the feast day of Mary's Assumption to Heaven. During mass yesterday, I was thinking about my lack of devotion to Mary. Don't get me wrong. I don't have anything against Mary. And it's not like the Catholic Church says you have to have a devotion to her. The church just teaches, to put it simply, that as the mother of Jesus she is a model for us and she can help us get closer to her son. I've seen people's response to her and how much they love her and how close they are to her. Personally, I've just never felt a need for that devotion. And then, yesterday, I had an, "AH-HA" moment.

It's no secret that my spiritual life isn't where I want it to be. I'm always wanting to make it better. Which is a good think, I think. I think one of my stumbling blocks to God is accepting a Father's love. I grew up without a dad. The main fatherly image I had growing up was my grandfather. It was amazing but lets' fact it--when I was ten years old (which is how old my son is now) my grandfather was over seventy years old. So, I know how to give a "Father's love" but accepting it is another thing. It's different. So, I'm sitting in mass thinking, "Mary . . . Our Blessed Mother . . . wait a minute . . . Mary was a girl!!" This may not be a brilliant revelation for the rest of you and the fact that the Mother of God is a female wasn't really for me either. But since I never really had much of a masculine influence in my life, I have always had a special connection with women. Women have had more of an influence on me than men. I've always had more female friends than men. In fact, I was telling my wife about reconnecting with my best friend from high school a couple of months ago on Facebook. Her question was, "What's her name?"

So, the church teaches us about Mary and about how she can be such a positive role model for us in growing closer to her son. I'm looking for a better relationship with Jesus. I connect better with women. Why WOULDN'T I use Mary to help me grow closer to Jesus?? I thought to myself, "What a brilliant idea!" And then I felt like an idiot because it took me so long to figure it out. It's not like the church doesn't put a special emphasis on Mary. She isn't some secret devotion. Heck, every time I go to confession, Msgr. Blacet tells me that when I'm faced with temptation I should ask for Mary's intercession. I've repeatedly been told she will help me. Sometimes I'm not as smart as I think I am.

I am going to start going to Mary for help. I'm going to ask her to pray for me when I'm tempted. I even have a special intention that I'm going to lay at her feet for her assistance. I'm going to ask her to teach me more about Jesus and to pray for me that I may be pleasing to him. That way, as Msgr Blacet told me, when I get to Heaven I can tell Mary that it's her fault that I'm there.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I Need Me a Prayer Life!

I've recently been blessed by helping a dear friend rediscover her faith. It's been very rewarding and I'm proud of her for humbling herself and trying to find God in her life. Every day she tells me, "I said my prayers today!" I encourage her all the while thinking, "Good gravy! At this point she has a better prayer life than I do!" You see, I have an ATROCIOUS prayer life and it was pointed out to me by a priest friend that it's very possible that God is using her to help me to find my prayer life as much as He is using me to help her to find her faith.

It's not like I haven't tried and worked on it. It's not like I don't have the desire to have a prayer life. It's not like I don't have the desire to have a passion for scripture or a great Marian devotion. It's just not there (yet.) I also realize that a great prayer life isn't going to happen over night. To be honest, I'm just lazy. So I guess I'm guilty of the sin of sloth and need to go to confession, huh? Here is the deal. I've been blessed and have felt God's presence in my prayers before. Talk about an experience that will knock your socks off. I'm just such a chuckle head and skip my prayers the next day. I don't keep it up. I just want it to come easy for me!

I'm reading a book now that I'm going to review in a couple of weeks. The book has a chapter on St. Teresa of Avila. She describes prayer life as "four methods of watering." She says that sometimes prayer is like pulling water from a well--it takes muscle and labor. Other times it's less difficult--like taking it from a water wheel. Sometimes it's as simple as taking water from the "river" that God provides. Finally, if God sees fit--he can provide a "spiritual rain" that requires nothing.

I really like this analogy because it reminds me that even though I'd like like to just sing in the rain and have this great prayer life I need to work on it and pull those buckets out of the well. For me that may mean working on saying the Liturgy of the Hours every day. Maybe I need to just be simple and say an "Our Father" and a "Hail Mary" every morning and evening and supplement that with the Liturgy of the Hours until that becomes habit.

I don't know. I know I need to do something. I've got a couple books such as "The 'R' Father" by Mark Hart and "The Better Part" by Fr. Bartunek. I'm hoping they give me some motivation and encouragement.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


About a year and a half ago, my wife and her mom went to Greece and Turkey for ten days on a cruise. I stayed at home with the kids so I was never actually alone but I'll tell you what--from the moment she stepped on the plane until I picked her up I was lonely. What a horrible, helpless feeling it was too. For the next week and a half, I could have been in a room filled with people but I felt all alone. I couldn't imagine going through life with that feeling.

You may be wondering what this has to do with you? Sure, people do go through life feeling like they are by themselves. Whether intentionally or by circumstance, men and women around the world are lonely. Perhaps they have recently gone through a separation or lost their spouse to death. Perhaps circumstances in their lives have caused their family to disown them. They are left with no one to comfort them or to show them love. You have family and friends, though. How is this blog applicable to you?

I would say the first reason I'm bringing up the subject of loneliness is to raise awareness of those who may be hurting around you. If we are all parts of the Body of Christ, we need to take care of those brothers and sisters who are around us. It's one reason we should always treat everyone with love and concern. We should always allow Christ to shine through us so that those people who may be lonely can feel his love. Our kindness may be the only compassion they are shown all day. Don't rely on someone else to be kind.

The second part, and something that may have a bigger impact on you--especially if you don't think you should show love and compassion to those who are lonely around you. I believe Hell is a very lonely place. I know we have images of flames and the devil with a pitchfork. What Hell is, at it's very basic though, is simply an absence of God. That is the answer to your question, "If God is ever loving, how can he send people to Hell." Well, the answer is that he doesn't send people to Hell. He would prefer that everyone be with him in Heaven. But people chose a life apart from God by sinning and doing things their own way. God only gives people their wish. If they wish to be apart from God then He will allow it, for all of eternity. So God only gives us what we want. If we want to spend eternity away from them, then He will allow it. It's just going to be very lonely.

For those who are suffering loneliness, please realize that we are never really alone. God is always with us and always cares for us and always loves us. I realize that it may be easy for a guy with a wife and kids to say that you shouldn't be lonely because God is with us. But, it's true. God is always with us and is never away from us. Heck, he may even be using your lonliness to bring you closer to him.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Living Sanctuary

My son and I were at Cub Scout Camp last week while my daughters were visiting their grandmother. So Sunday morning I went to my mom's and picked them up causing me to miss mass Sunday morning. No, no--this isn't a blog about how I missed mass this weekend. I did miss mass at my home parish but I went to the 6pm mass at St. Gabe's. It's a teen mass and I always enjoy it. Everything is still liturgically correct. The music are the same songs and everything, is just a little more contemporary, which I realize for come people may be too much.

During communion, the choir--actually more of a band--goes up first and while they were there one of the members stayed beyond and sang this wonderful, prayerful song while playing the piano:

"Lord, prepare me, to be a sanctuary; pure and holy, tried and true. With thanksgiving, I'll be a living sanctuary for you."

This slow, reverent song being repeated really struck a chord with me It's a prayer I'd like to remember but it was especially meaningful after I was made to feel like Jacob, who wrestled with God, at mass the week before. It was a reminder for me of what God wants us to be and what we actually are right after mass.

The tabernacle, or sanctuary, is where the consecrated hosts are placed in-between masses. It's normally a golden object placed at the front of the church (unless of course your church has been built in the last forty years then they may be hiding Jesus) An interesting thought though is that right after mass, we are actual tabernacles. At that moment, the consecrated host resides in us. It is the closest we will ever physically be to Jesus. That's why we shouldn't be playing bumper cars trying to get out of the parking lot after mass! Everyone we see is another living sanctuary.

So this song speaks to us in a very literal way. "Lord, prepare me, to be a living sanctuary." We will all literally be little walking, talking tabernacles. I think the song speaks to us in a spiritual way also. We should always be living tabernacles for Christ even long after mass is over. We should always allow him to live in us. People should always be able to see Him in us and Him working through us. After all, we are challenged with taking God out into the world. We have more of a responsibility than going to church one hour a week. We are to take what we are and what we are transformed into out into the world. We have to be that tabernacle with Jesus in us and take him to our workplaces, to our schools, stores, streets, where ever people may be so that they can follow him also.

This prayer/song was a reminder to me that I need to be that person that people can see Christ in and who leads people to Him and not scare away. That seems to be a huge task. It seems to be very daunting. It's a thought that had me "sweating from my eyeballs" as my wife, Abby put it. But I realize that I just need to shut up and be the sanctuary and let Jesus, who is with me do all of the heavy lifting.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Catholic Taliban

One of the great things I enjoy about my Catholic faith are the many liturgies, ceremonies and traditions. I love the way the church guides me and lets me know what is right and what is wrong. But it seems to me that there comes a point where people become so legalistic and think that because they go to mass every Sunday, go to reconciliation regularly and abide by all the rules that they are great pious people. But if you do all these things and you don't allow a change inside of you then you are missing something.

Lino Rulli, host of The Catholic Guy Show on Sirius 159/XM 117, calls these types of people the "Catholic Taliban." I've heard criticism of this tag-line saying that you can't compare good Christian folk to terrorists who kidnap and torture innocent people and that's a fair complaint. I can understand that. But, I would like to propose the idea that they are just as damaging as terroristic acts as the actual Taliban only instead of killing the body they kill the soul.

That's not to say that we don't need people who are willing to correct mistakes and errors when they see them. From liturgical abuses to loose moral behavior we need people to make sure things are done correctly. The problem stems when it's not done without love and charity. The problem stems when it's not done in a pastoral way. The problem stems from when people are so focused on doing the acts that they don't allow for a conversion of heart.

What draws people to Catholicism is the love of God that they feel there. You get to see that in the liturgy and and in the sacraments. But if you go to church and you see a bunch of stodges with stony hearts and no love showing are you going to run away thinking, "if that's what church is all about, I don't want anything to do with it!"

This isn't easy to write and I don't like writing it. However, I really take offense when someone uses my faith, that I truly love, and instead of using it to draw people to God use it to push people away. I'm not saying to conform to make people come to church. I'm not saying change because that's what society wants. When you do that you get the horrible church designs and liturgical abuses we have had to suffer over the last 40 years since Vatican II.

What I'm saying is if you are snapping at a child and embarrassing them because they make the sign of the cross with their left hand instead of their right then something is wrong with you. You are missing the boat and not allowing God to change your heart. God is love. Allow God to work through you. If God is working through you then people will come.

Now that I've gotten that out of my system---beware all you liturgist with felt banners, bongo drums and Halloween masses----I'm coming for you next.

A Papal Traditon

Every time a pope is elected, there are many ancient rituals and ceremonies in accordance with tradition.

There is one tradition that few people are aware about, however. Shortly after the new pope is enthroned, the Chief Rabbi of Rome seeks an audience. He presents the pope with a silver trey bearing a velvet cushion. On the top of the cushion is an ancient shriveled parchment envelope. The pope symbolically stretches out his arm in a gesture of rejection. The chief rabbi leaves, taking the envelope with him, and does not return until the next pope is elected.

Pope Benedict XVI was intrigued by this ritual, the origins of which were unknown to him. He instructed Vatican scholars to research it but they came up with nothing. When the time came the chief rabbi arrived for his audience, the new pope faithfully enacted the ritual rejection, but when the chief rabbi turned to leave the pope called him back.

"My brother," the pope whispered, "I have to admit that we are ignorant of the meaning of the ritual repeated for centuries with the representative of the Jewish people. I have to ask, what is it all about?"

The chief rabbi shrugged and replied, "We have no more idea that you. The origin of the ceremony is lost in the mists of history."

The pope said, "Let us retire to my private chambers and enjoy a glass of wine together. Then, with your agreement, we shall open the envelope and discover it's secret at last." The chief rabbi agreed. He was just as curious as the pope.

When they were alone, the pope gingerly pried open the parchement envelope with trembling fingers, the chief rabbi removed a folded sheet of ancient paper. It was written in ancient Aramaic.

"What does it say?" the pope asked.

"It's a bill for the Last Supper," replied the rabbi.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Green-eyed Monster

Have you had unexplained pangs of jealousy that just make your stomach curdle because it just doesn't make sense? Perhaps, you see the teen ager driving the nice little sports car as you drive down the street in a mini-van. Maybe it's the co-worker who got a promotion. It might be the guy walking into the club with a beautiful blonde bombshell on his arm. It feels like a punch in the stomach as you think, "Why do they get that? Why can't I have it?" It doesn't make sense because the sports car wouldn't be practical to haul around your five kids, the promotion would mean working more hours for not much of a pay raise, and the blonde is just out of your league anyway.

Then why does it drive you crazy sometimes when someone has something that you desire but don't need? Do we feel like you are getting slighted because someone is getting something that you aren't? There is not doubt that jealous and envy are bad. Envy is defined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church as "the sadness at the sight of another's goods and the immoderate desire to have them for oneself. It is a capital sin." (2553, CCC)

Envy really gets bad when it's left unchecked. It is the cause of many brutal crimes. People get killed and robbed because of envy. People get stuff stolen because others want what they have. St. Augustine defines envy as "the diabolical sin." He continues saying that "from envy are born hatred, detraction, calumny, joy caused by the misfortune of a neighbor and displeasure caused by his prosperity." (2539 CCC) Detraction and calumny, by the way, putting someone down or false and slanderous statements---you know--talking trash and gossip.

I hate the feeling because it's there but it just doesn't make sense to me. I have everything I really need in life. I have an amazing wife, great kids, wonderful friends, a job I love. I am darn lucky to have the life that I do. In reality--even though I don't deserve all of that stuff--people should be jealous of me. But it still strikes me. I'll see an officer who works in office with a take home car. I don't get a take home car so I think ill of the person, "What the heck do they get a take home car--it's not like they are going to get called out in the middle of the night!"

Where does it get me? No where really. It causes hard feelings and why? Heck, I'd accept a take home car if they gave it to me. But since I don't get one, I don't want the other guy to have one even though I don't need it.

How do you combat envy? You can get advice from the Catechism where it says that, "Envy represents a form of sadness and therefore a refusal of charity. The baptized person should struggle against it by exercising good will. Envy often comes from pride; the baptized person should train himself to live in humility." (2540 CCC)

So, just like every other vice--the combat it you practice the opposite virtue. So, instead of being jealous and trying to make things difficult for the person, you treat them with kindness--even if it's the last thing you want to do. Instead of saying mean things and lies about someone you show humility and realize that maybe they deserve that more than you.

Sigh---it's difficult for me. Fortunately for me, I'm already pretty humble. In fact, I'm one of the most humble people I know. Heck, I bet you wish you were as humble as me!