I can’t afford to be a “good Catholic parent”

My two year old is getting more precious (and vocal) by the millisecond.  Her sponge-like ability to retain information for longer periods of time and then have that information explode at the most inopportune (and hilarious) moments is uncanny.  And as we giggle our hineys off at her innocence and pure joy, the vibration that resonates in the back of our minds while we enjoy this time in her life to the fullest is- what we are going to do to educate her and her sister in the most Christian (Ok, Catholic) way possible?

Here’s what my Catholic prejudice tells me:

TJ, you have two options- either send them to Catholic school or school em’ yourself.  

And then, my economic stinginess pipes in,

Ha!  Silly Catholic boy, don’t you know that costs money?  You are a Teacher.  So is your wife.  If the pay freeze continues in your district, you’ll just barely be able to send them to public school!  And you want to pay Catholic school tuition or, perish the thought, ask your wife to stay home with the kiddos and teach them yourselves?  That means you’d have to survive with just your tiny, insignificant, public servant’s wages.  Then it will be ‘good luck if you want to follow God’s order to be fruitful and multiply’.  You can’t be serious!

Dang money.  Dang it all to heck.

Please pray that my kiddos can be taught by the most capable teachers in their lives during their school years and beyond: their parents.  I don’t want to miss a single inopportune (or hilarious) moment with them.  I also want them to know, love and serve God in the most profound way possible.  My wife and I can make that happen if my pay-scale will play nice.

Image Credit:the-friat.blogspot.com

Born. Lived. Died?

My second daughter, Sarai, was born last night at 12:07 AM.  Mom did great during the flawless delivery that was covered not only by the OBGYN on call during the holiday weekend, but the thousands of Angels that caught whiff of the news after partying hard with the holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday. Sarai’s birth was their after party (I blame my guardian angel for inviting them).

Strangely enough, at about 8:30 when the pain meds had already taken their sleepy effects on my wife, I pulled out my copy of St. Francis de Sales Introduction to the Devout Life (which I was convinced to read after hearing Patrick Coffin’s recommendation) and read this:

“Consider that but a few years since you were not born into the world, and your soul was as yet non-existent. Where wert thou then, O my soul? the world was already old, and yet of thee there was no sign. God brought you out of this nothingness, in order to make you what you are.*

I was floored by profundity.  In the wake of creation, I gazed back to nine months ago when Sarai was nothing but a desire deep within her mother and father.  Where was she then?  Deep within the desire of her (capital “F”) Father.

In all of history, the majority of men and women can be biogrophized by two sentences, S/he was born- such a date, and S/he died- such a date.  Very few are known for their eternal actions that started while on earth, but then intensified once they joined up with those party animal Angels and their Alpha (& Omega) Male, Christ.  They are Saints, otherwise known as the best imitators of Christ who, by means of copying the divine, wax their souls into the fullness of life well after this world pronounces them “dead”.

And to think, all of this

and this

and this

began with nothingness.

What a Creator we live for!  Now, to live forever so that our biographies read born, lived and continues to do so.

 *Francis of Sales, Saint (2009-06-09). Introduction to the Devout Life – Enhanced Version (Kindle Locations 438-440). Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Kindle Edition.