The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Odd Complaint

I received a complaint via email the other day, suggesting that I was devoting far too much of my "blogspace" (his word, not mine) to family and friends and not enough to theological and ecclesiastical subjects. He stated quite bluntly that "as a deacon you should be using this vehicle to explain our beliefs as Catholics. Our Lord told us to go to 'all nations...teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.'" The remainder of his highly instructive email made it clear that by focusing so much on family, friends, travels, etc., I was ignoring the Lord's mandate and not using this blog effectively for its "intended apologetic purpose."

I don't know this critic personally and so at first I was nonplussed that anyone would take the time to lecture me on the "intended...purpose" of my own little, insignificant blog. What do you say to someone who would be so presumptuous? My initial reaction was to send off a quickie response saying, "If you want to read a blog that focuses on Catholic apologetics, there are plenty out there. Or start your own. But don't tell me what I have to write about." But then, after a moment's reflection, I thought that perhaps I was partly to blame for this reader's confusion over the blog's intended purpose. This thought lived a very short life, for when I began Being Is Good a few years ago I stated clearly it would contain no more than my "occasional, random thoughts" in support of my joy over God's gift of life. This purpose hasn't changed and has been in the blog's header from the start.

I'll admit that I sometimes drift away from this guiding vision and ramble on about a topic that simply piques my interest, but isn't that really in the very nature of blogging? Anyway, since my intended focus is an appreciation of being itself, I can think of no better subject matter than the lives of those who mean the most to me: family and friends.

I also believe that a life well-lived is a life of balance. An unbalanced life, of the sort that focuses all of one's time and energy on a single aspect of this wondrous existence, seems an insult to the Creator.  I believe it only fitting, then, that this blog should reflect the many aspects of creation that I find particularly interesting. Theology, ecclesiology, apologetics -- these are all wonderful subjects for study and contemplation and evangelization, but I prefer that they don't monopolize my every waking moment. and friends.

After leaving our younger daughter and her family, Diane and I made a brief  stop in Schenectady, New York at the home of one of my old high school buddies. Although we had kept in infrequent touch via email, etc., we hadn't seen each other in years, so it was nice to get together once again. Old friendships are among the best of friendships and we just picked up where we had left off at our last meeting over 20 years ago. We stayed at a less than pleasant motel that one night. My friend warned me. I should have listened.

We then drove to the little Finger Lakes community of Penn Yan, New York where we spent three days with another deacon and his wife. They have an absolutely lovely home right on Lake Seneca smack dab in the middle of New York's famed wine country. With our hosts as tour guides, we spent several days visiting wineries and local shops, admiring the well-kept Mennonite farms, and just taking in the beautiful countryside.

Sunrise over Lake Seneca - Finger Lakes, NY
Spooky Scarecrow in Vineyard - NY Finger Lakes
St. Augustine once compared a Bishop who lacked courage
to preach the Gospel and defend the faith to "a scarecrow standing in a vineyard."

Vineyard Windmill - NY Finger Lakes

By now it was time to head south. We'd been living out of our suitcases for nearly a month, and needed to return to the comfortable surroundings of our own home. We left New York and drove to Fairfax, Virginia  where we spent a lovely evening with old Navy friends. We hated to leave, but home beckoned. Indeed, its call was so strong and so loud that yesterday we drove over 800 miles from Fairfax to Florida. The traffic was light, I wasn't particularly tired, and another night in a motel did not appeal to us.

Home at last!

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