Marriage Isn’t For You

A lot to think about here.

Seth Adam Smith

Having been married only a year and a half, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that marriage isn’t for me.

Now before you start making assumptions, keep reading.

I met my wife in high school when we were 15 years old. We were friends for ten years until…until we decided no longer wanted to be just friends. 🙂 I strongly recommend that best friends fall in love. Good times will be had by all.

Nevertheless, falling in love with my best friend did not prevent me from having certain fears and anxieties about getting married. The nearer Kim and I approached the decision to marry, the more I was filled with a paralyzing fear. Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy?

Then, one fateful night, I shared these thoughts and concerns with my dad.

Perhaps each…

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Do Not Be Afraid

What’s so uncool about cool churches?

My thoughts exactly.

the gospel side

Unintended Consequences: How the “relevant” church and segregating youth is killing Christianity.

I recently spent six-months doing a rotation as a hospital chaplain. One day I received a page (Yes, hospitals actually still use pagers). Chaplains are generally called to the rooms of people who look ill: People gray with kidney disease, or yellow with liver failure, discouraged amputees, nervous cancer patients. In this room, however, was a strikingly attractive 23 year-old young lady sitting up cheerfully in the hospital bed, holding her infant daughter and chatting with family and friends.

Confused, I stepped outside and asked her nurse, “Why did I get paged to her room?”

“Oh, she looks fabulous. She also feels great and is asking to go home,” the nurse said.

“…And you are calling me because?” I asked in confusion.

The nurse looked me directly in the eye and said: “Because we will be…

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Empowering Our Youth to Make a “Mess”

8 Kids And A Business

Posted at Catholic Lane and Catholic Insight

PhotoIn one of his World Youth Days homilies, Pope Francis told the throng of enthusiastic young adults that he wants “a mess”. “I want to tell you something. What is it that I expect as a consequence of World Youth Day? I want a mess. We knew that in Rio there would be great disorder, but I want trouble in the dioceses!” he exclaimed. The participants embraced his words, reacting with the customary jubilation we have come to expect every time the Holy Father addresses the crowds.

The Holy Father was encouraging the youth to go out and spread the Gospel. As a mom of young adults, I am excited at the thought of my children’s generation going out and evangelizing but at the same time, I’m cautiously optimistic.

As a catechist of young children in my parish, I am all too aware…

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“Do We Let God Lead Us… To Not Be Afraid To Give?” – On Corpus Christi, Francis Calls Church Beyond Its “Fence”

Really starting to love this pope.


In his first turn at the traditional outdoor rites celebrating the Lord’s Body and Blood, here below is the Pope’s homily – withVatican Radio‘s English real-time audio translation dubbed in – given earlier tonight on the steps of St John Lateran for Corpus Christi:

Even if the text of the preach is making the rounds, again, remember well that this Pope wishes to be heard as opposed to merely being read.

While the feast is always marked by the pontiffs on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday – its traditional setting, which recalls the institution of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday – where the weekday isn’t a holy day of obligation, the observance is now transferred to Sunday, which is the case across the lion’s share of the global church.

For the first time in two decades, Francis walked the traditional mile-long procession from Rome’s cathedral to…

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Worthy is the Lamb

On first read through of today’s reading from Revelation, this is what came to mind:

God Does Not Create Numbers

Perfection was hung on a cross 2,000 years ago.Mike Shannon, St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster.

We Americans, particularly women, are held in a sort of prison of perfection.  From all quarters of our lives,we are expected to strive for perfection: meet incredibly high – and arbitrary – standards of behavior and beauty set by Lord only knows who in order to be considered as beautiful or worthy of love.  At least that is the way many of of us feel.

Naturally, that is a bit of an exaggeration,  but sometimes it really does seem that way.

From the time we are born in the United States, we are compared to a set of numbers.  Birth weight and length are the main two on the first day, but APGAR scores are measured – Appearance, Pulse, Grimace,Activity, and Respiration – to be sure that a newborn is ready for the rigors of the world.

As life goes on, our growth progress is charted and compared against other children our own age.  We are considered to be of the such and such percentile when it comes to height and weight.  How and when our teeth come in is tracked.  What age we are when we walk is deemed important.

In our primary school years, we are tracked against a set of standards.  Do we cooperate?  Do we get frustrated?  Are we assertive enough?  Do we listen in class?  Early progress reports actually ask the questions.  Later on, we receive letter grades for our efforts.  A is perfect, and, according to all higher wisdom, what we should strive for.  Standardized tests are administered to track our progress against everyone else.  The higher the score, the better.

In high school, those letters are matched with numbers and averaged to give us a grade point average or GPA, an indicator of academic success regardless of the class load taken or the rigors of the system of study.  For those who are college bound, we take standardized tests to give college recruiters an idea of our aptitude in any one area.  Whether or not such information was taught in our schools is not the point.

Socially, we are judged, rightly or wrongly, by how we adhere to fashion standards, filling out clothing just right and coiffing in a particular style.  Our teeth are straightened to match the ideal of a beautiful smile.  We learn to be sufficiently snarky toward people not in the social set considered to be at the top.  Not accepting those who are different.

Once out of college and in a real job, every year our employers review our performance.  How well did we perform against the expectations laid out for us.  The grades are not letters, sometimes are numbers and always include the words “needs improvement.”  Whether or not help is available to achieve this improvement is rarely mentioned.  At least not in the reviews.

We are encouraged to see a physician every year as our physical condition is tracked: height and weight which are then ratioed and compared against an “ideal” body mass index or BMI which famously does not take into account body type.  Doesn’t seem to matter.  A lot of us are too short for our weight.

In all of this, we are trained to think of ourselves in terms of numbers.  How are we doing against what is considered the ideal?  We are judged against that.  Not how we treat our family and friends.  Not how we respectfully disagree with others without insulting them.  Not how we give of our time and talents to help others.  We Americans are a social security number with a height and weight that might get a 2 on a scale of getting along with others in the workplace.

It’s enough to make a person really depressed.  Especially women who take criticism to heart and internalize it.

It takes a while to accept, but there is no such thing as human perfection.  Christ and His Mother are our only known examples – and that may well have been simply perfection of the soul.  None of us are perfect. None of us ever will be.  Even a baseball pitcher needs the other eight people on the field for a perfect game.

As God creates us in His image, and not physically or academically perfect, He tells us that it is acceptable to be human.  It is acceptable to fail.  It is acceptable to be who we are and not apologize for it.

None of us are just a number in God’s eyes.

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