Let's talk about your need for holy leisure, interior freedom, poetic education, creative expression and cultural engagement. Authentic, joyful, humorous...many talks to choose from...custom crafted presentations...workshops, retreats, group facilitation...let me help you!
For Groundhog Day, I imagine Catholic bloggers everywhere are weighing in about the movie by that name. It’s so Catholic! How can we resist?
I love this movie, and only regret that it’s not quite appropriate for young kids. It’s an extended metaphor for coming to grips with life’s terrible daily-ness. The main character – a jaded, worldly bachelor doing the obligatory annual report on the groundhog for his TV station – finds himself inexplicably trapped in one day – living it over and over with, apparently, no way out. As the horror of it dawns on him, he tries suicide. When even that doesn’t effect his escape, he turns to despair’s other alternative, hedonistic abandon. When it seems nothing can ever enter his alternate me-verse to lighten its burden, something does.
The human beings around him – formerly mere objects – begin to awaken him to the possibility of finding himself in the unending day by stepping outside himself for their benefit. As he purposes to fill that day with responsiveness to them, the day becomes more bearable. The one thing that can change from day to day, is the self. He gets to retain experience in memory, learn to play the piano, memorize poetry. Whatever else happens in the cramped limits of that day, he is becoming and cohering in increasing dimensionality outside the reach of the trap that holds him in time.
Love for the station’s beautiful producer awakens his desire not merely to serve, but to know and love another person. To plumb her mystery, to be worthy of her, to love her for her sake and not to manipulate or use her, become the goals that lift his unending day into something that approaches transcendence. Alas, though their time together partakes of eternity, it always ends with the day and is lost to the one who has no memory. Two kinds of ‘newness of life’ are in contrast: a horrible, memory-less, ever-new-ness which traps a person in an endless, impotent, fruitless childhood, and a marvelous freshness which by the power of memory coheres within a person, as person.
Into the now moment of chronos he seems fated to endure, kairos bubbles in through this person, in this person. The actuality of a love from beyond enters time, raises itself up within the very being of a man, and in his willingness to detach from all but love (all expectation of reward, fulfillment, future, pleasure) becomes the power that breaks through an awful magic that sought to unmake that man by tempting him to despair. Self is seen and followed to its destiny in the gaze of an Other. Life is acknowledged to be a gift, however hard it is to bear. Mystery breaks in through personhood to trump a lower and limited reality with its super-reality.
Sounds Catholic to me!
Sarcasm is the last resort of one who despairs of being heard.
I learned this the hard way – God convicted me of the sin of despair. What I thought was a way of giving humorous vent to ‘communication frustration’ was really the snarky voice of despair, which always leads to more sin. In this case, to the sin of voicing truth caustically, instead of ‘in love,’ as the Scriptures recommend.
Oh, and about that ‘truth’ I was telling so cleverly. True as it may be, ‘truth’ colored by despair is very likely to be a narrative skewed toward hopelessness. My sarcastic words became an anti-sacrament, conveying my own despair to the one at whom I aimed (yes, like a weapon, those witty, biting, snarled remarks of mine).
Memo to self:
If there is someone who cannot seem to hear me, I must turn to God for help finding new, loving, positive ways to communicated, or – at least – be quiet, without resentment. If their ‘cannot’ is really a ‘will not,’ that does not give me free rein to hit at them with sarcasm. And even if they do not seem to be bothered by my remarks, sarcasm is hurting our (already weak?) relationship. It is beneath my dignity, and hope is the way to prevent it.