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Author: Charles LaFond

Ecclesial Epistemic Humility

“Today is Sunday. I am planning to make a casserole, bake a homemade apple pie, bake some bread, mix a cocktail in a pitcher and have some friends over, six feet apart, to eat and drink and laugh and weep and make political donations, make the debate into a drinking game and discuss our lives – the successes, the failures. We will share life-advice and courage. And when I do that I will wonder… “what would Jesus do if he saw us doing this instead of going to Church?”

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I wish I had known.

“I wish I had known 
How God
Would use my study for my conversion.
I wish I had known how little the scriptures 
Would take part.
And how much the walks on beaches would.
And the dogs.”

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A Meditation on Eve

“Eve, by eating of the apple takes God’s wisdom into her physical body-cells and heart-soul.  God entered into each cell of her body in that moment and we have inherited that presence of God in our cells. Eve then leaves the garden because she has wisdom and no longer needs the protection of the garden walls. She leaves being an adolescent and becomes an adult, able to hear God’s voice because God dwells inside her.”

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A Song Lyric of Fire

“I am Seraph. I am one of the Seraphim. My name comes from the Hebrew word “seraph” which means “to burn.” When we speak in the temple, it fills with smoke and its timbers shake in the midst of our fire, and our voice.
Our fire is part of all fire and all fire is part of us. 
We clean.
We prophesy. We destroy. We create fields ready for new growth. We are fanned by ecclesial arrogance and human greed.
We are not in Manhattan on 9/11, nor are we in California on 9/12.”

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On Disappointment

“John O’Donohue, my spiritual and writing hero, calls hurt and loss “dark gifts.” And I find that intriguing.  In order to metabolize disappointment, we need resilience and what psychologists tell us about resilience is that it is like a muscle.  It gets stronger as you use it – as you lift heavier and heavier things.  And what we know about muscles is that the lifting rips their fibers – and the ripped fibers are what, when healed, build more muscle.”

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Letter to a Young Priest

“Gather around you kind, honest parishioners. And one effective spiritual director – older, wise women work best.  They will keep you honest and humble.  They will apply bandages when you fight incompetent authority – for you will be wounded in those fights.  But you will also be blessed by the good, honest parishioners, clergy, and bishops whose goodness you will discern out of your spiritual disciplines and who will nurse you back to health.”

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Curious and Kind

“Your savings account is not everything.  Your health is not everything.  Your possessions and house are not everything.  Your resume and your offspring are not everything.  Your creeds and your rituals are not everything.  Indeed, nothing outside of you is everything.  Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything and will get you through this.  But beware, for they are hard, internal work. Stop being right, and choose instead to be curious and kind.”

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Bullying

“I am soon to be on my annual week of retreat which totally sucks.  Being on retreat from social media, technology and work is a part of my Rule of Life; and I usually hate it.  I quite like the anesthesia I have collected over the years – tools I have and use to “not feel pain.” And a retreat is an un-anesthetized week of silent reflection. It will follow a week of vacation this year, so not only will I be bored, I’ll be rested and bored. Ugh.”

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Vulnerability

“Cloistered as we are within homes and small circles of family or COVID-approved-house-guests, we are spending much of our time with people who know us very well.  And people who know us well are armed with knowing our soft-spots; where to place the verbal blade for maximum pain and maximum bleed.  Not always, but sometimes.  That is why betrayal by a close friend or loved-one is exponentially more painful than a wound inflicted by a stranger.”

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