Seeing with wonderment

wondermentI think my favorite comic strip of all time is “Calvin and Hobbes.” It was a simple comic strip featuring Calvin, a preternaturally bright six year-old, and Hobbes, his imaginary tiger friend. The comic strip managed to infuse wondering (and wandering) on a cosmic scale into an ageless world of lazy Sunday afternoons, space adventures, and tales of befuddled babysitters, teachers, and parents. What I most enjoyed about Calvin and Hobbes was that it reminded me of our innate human ability to be surprised, to imagine, and enter into mystery – and to do it with an amazing, incredibly open wonderment. Calvin’s openness to the mystery of it all allowed him entry to even the theological arts where he mused about the combination of predestination with procrastination, finally concluding, “God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I am so far behind that I will never die.” Continue reading

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Resolutions and Insanity

CalvinUnless you happen to be like my muse, Calvin, in the comic strip, I suspect you are about to make some New Year’s resolutions.  How did you do on last year’s resolutions?  About the same as the rest of us?  One ad hominem wisdom saying defines “insanity” this way: to keep doing the same thing and expect a different result.  Perhaps 2014 is a time to consider changing the way resolutions are considered, made, and hopefully, kept.

During the Advent season, many people took the opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation as a spiritual preparation for Christmas and the New Year.  When someone lists out their sins and the areas of their lives that are in need of God’s forgiveness, I often respond with, “If you could only work on one thing from your list, what would be the priority?  What would be the one thing you would take into prayer and ask God’s help?”  Most people intuitively know their lives and have an answer.  I encourage them to do just that:  focus on that one thing with God’s help. Continue reading