“…when you hear this news…”

The Lord is calling. Always calling. But as I have posted about before, are we listening??? And how do we know it is of God? Or is it just more static?

Oh my gosh, the past twelve days, I have been knocked down by a virus in my lungs and sinuses. It has really laid me out. And I have been intellectually bored silly, when I’m not sneezing or coughing! My granddaughters introduced me to this game, which is now on my phone, we lovingly call the “dot game.” I am seeing dots in my sleep. I have been obsessed. (And so has my husband. Ha-Ha!). But it is about the only thing I have had the energy to do! Except for read and listen to podcasts. Oh, and to be honest, watch all the seasons of the “Holiday Baking Championship.” Yeah; I love it. Who knew?

When you really isolate yourself, the sources of information become so crystal clear, purely because they are so isolated. I am getting specific information and because I spent the better part of a week all alone, I know exactly where it all came from. I have reached out via email and texts to bounce things off friends, when I have subjects I want to chat about. And some of the feedback has been wonderful. It has made me think. And it has been precise and specific. Which has been great.

Sometimes we are poised for change. We are open to it. We, if we don’t kid ourselves, are waiting for it. And change is hard – very hard. The impetus can come from the chaos around us. We can pick out little, minute things that drastically influence our hearts and souls. And sometimes the words that strike us are through friends. Friends we trust and respect. Recently, a friend said some things to me and I just cannot get her sentences out of my head. She was recalling her lamenting quite a few years ago about some issues in the Church. She whined to a priest and he responded with, “Who’s Church is it?” She replied, “God’s.” And his response, which is what I cannot get out of my head, was “Well, let Him take care of it!” Wow. We humans think we can fix anything we feel isn’t going to our perceived expectations. We espouse faith in God, steadfastness of our faith in the Church, and yet we think, “He’s not doing a very good job of it.” Ha-Ha! And therein, my friends, is where this idleness brought on by illness has gotten me in trouble. Too much quiet time to think.

There is so much going on in the world right now. And I find myself getting all caught up in it. I looked over at my husband, sitting in his chair, reading on his phone. I asked him what he was doing, and he said, “Reading stuff and getting mad.” And it made me think, “Why do we read this stuff if it just makes us angry? Why do we get involved in things that destroy our peace? Some things, granted, are worthy to get involved with. There are causes that are important. Causes that do make a difference. But on the national scale? One person, it can be argued, can make a difference. But if you are not started in that field at a young age, or working the “right channels,” what happens nationally is out of our hands. Before you get all over me for it, give it a thought. What can I do by getting into the fray? I delved into things locally and on the statewide level. It got me nowhere. I wasn’t affecting change. I believe it is because I don’t have lots of spare cash to throw at causes. I do have a voice, and I have connections through friends, but once I was not providing enough, I was no longer needed. And so much of politics is just noise. No one does anything, but spew words. Have you seen the TV news lately? “The View” TV show? Listen to the radio? Listen to podcasts? It is everywhere. And it is angering and divisive and corrosive and it is killing our world.

So a better thought is not what can I do to get into all of this, but rather, what can I do to slow it down or stop it? One of the issues facing religion right now is not just the impact of Muslims immigrating and tearing cultures apart as they do so, but within the larger Church itself. Preachers don’t preach the tough stuff. No one wants to hear what is sinful from the pulpit. We would rather hear about prosperity and the plentiful life. We certainly do not want to hear the top ten – the Ten Commandments. It is much easier to live in sin and be comfortable there, than to be challenged to change. But change is what we are all called to do – otherwise we become part of the problem.

This opportunity to disconnect was given to me in the form of a virus; an illness. And it has been a gift. It has caused me to be able to really funnel where I get my information from, who I interact with, and the reaction it causes in me. Life is far too short to spend your days in anger. Far too short.

If you haven’t realized it yet, we are getting close to the Holiday season. I think we now have, per retailers at least, a season called “Hallowthanksmas” – we sort of skip over a lot of it and right after the 4th of July, we end up celebrating Halloween and straight into Christmas. We get on this fast track to January 1st and we miss all the prep – prep is where we grow and learn. We call this particular period, “Advent.” We forget we are preparing to welcome the Christ Child into our hearts and our homes and get caught up in the trees, ornaments, and gifts. Sigh. It is sad. We are all losing our way. And the anger makes it obvious.

I am planning to reorient myself this Advent. Get into the Spiritual aspect of Christmas and less of the commercial. Tune out more often. Unplug regularly. Continue to control what I hear and from whom I hear information. Guard what I read. Keep my eyes and head and heart focused on what is real. And what brings peace and unity and love. It’s not the internet and it certainly is not mass media. I was told recently that the Priests know what is happening in the world and on the world wide stage. And we need to trust that God has His larger Church in hand. I believe that and therefore I choose faith over hysteria. Faith over “news.” And the quiet peace it brings. Unplugging from the chaos and plugging into my faith. And focusing on the coming of our Lord.

“Today the Virgin is on her way to the cave where she will give birth to the Eternal Word of God in an ineffable manner. Rejoice, therefore, O universe when you hear this news, and glorify with the angels and the shepherds, Him who shall appear as a Child being God from all eternity.” Christmas Kontakion.