“Pay the Piper…”

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Pay the Piper, we will all have to do that– no exceptions.  Call it Karma, call it Purgatory… pick your poison as they say.  But just like a big, fat, furry cat who waits on your doorstep for hours… it’ll be waiting for you– for all of us.  Nobody gets away with anything.  In a few days, you will hear of numerous new lawsuits involving abusive priests.  The stories are horrible.  The Catholic Church will have to “pay the piper.”  Money settlements are the only objective measure of consequence other than incarceration this country has for most crimes.  It is just one method of paying up.  PBJ Religion says to “do the right thing, always.”  Most of us truly do know what is right or wrong, but we are challenged to match the values to behaviors.  Most of us are not guilty of the heinous crimes we will read about when the new law kicks into high gear this week.  WHEN we do the right thing with clear conscience, we need not fear repercussions.  Are there inequities in the world?  Def. Unfair judgements?    Absolutely.   But know that it (whatever that “it” means to you individually), will be reconciled.  There is a balancing out in life that (although it is foggy to us) is working continuously.  The wrong shall fail, the right shall prevail.  Good does win out over evil, eventually and most definitively.  the paying of the piper is not a happy story; but is applicable to every situation in life.  Do unto others as they would like it done unto them, and you will be happy.  It’s immutable.

Are you a ‘scaredey-Catholic?’ “The Three Things Your Parents Never Told You About God”

 

 

If you we brought up like me, you may still be a scaredey cat… or shall I say a ‘scaredey Catholic?” Most of us don’t go around regularly and say that we’re afraid. But we are. And that is normal and natural. Sure, it’s an effed-up world. And even though many Biblical references advise us not to fear, it’s a human, inherent condition. Maybe these three points will help alleviate a bit of that nervousness. Number 1. God is only Love, it is not possible for God to be otherwise. He is never mean nor does God ever attempt to be scary; pure Love. 2. God forgives everyone and everything. Sometimes it can take a while, but it happens, eventually and unconditionally. Accept everything and everyone with humble forgiveness and God will do the same for you, for us. Number 3. Is a little more challenging with which to cope. That is we are all part of God… yes that includes your SOB boss, your budinski mother-in-law, and the seemingly miserable clerk who butters your roll each morning in the deli. God is in all of them, God is all of them. Now if you are a scaredey-Catholic, you will have trouble with 1 and 2, and especially 3. It may not be your “Grandfather’s Catechism” but it is doctrine and dogma. Read your Bible with a little more closeness in your heart, and listen with a keener ear to what Pope Frances said about forgiveness: “No one is condemned forever.” Them are some strong words. Cling to those words, and you are practicing PBJ Religion, which compliments every other religion; goes with everything like beige. And find true Peace.

“The Three C’s of How to Make Your Life Suck Just a Little Bit Less Right Now”

 

 

Most of us don’t go around regularly and say that life sucks. Life doesn’t really suck. We sort of do it to ourselves. But many of us reflect that sentiment in our daily actions. We complain, compare, and compete. When we perform these three C’s, we reveal that we are not totally happy—because we are not at peace.

 

Don’t complain. You may have heard the expression that “Eighty percent of the people don’t care… and the other twenty percent are glad you have the problems that you do!” Everyone has some degree of jealously, anxiety and insecurity; it’s the human, inherent condition.

 

Don’t compare. The Desiderata says, “There will always be greater and lesser persons than yourself.”

 

Don’t compete. Instead, cooperate and collaborate; at work and at home. YOU are your only competition. It was never any other way.

“Cafeteria Catholic…”

You hear people describe themselves this way.  They choose, and they think.  My Mother would have been 102 today, and one of her expressions was, “Put on your thinking cap.”  To me that means don’t leave your common sense at the big, old, creaky church doors.  Jesus did NOT want us to follow blindly, but to ponder and make the bestest and the mostest out of ourselves.  And no church should be political, not in the good ole’ US of A that is.  Not political, but personal.  Bishop Fulton Sheen said, ” Jesus did not come to change our politics… He came to change our lives.”  So brothers and sisters: think. Think deeply.  Let your self ponder the mysteries, they are magical and they are delicious.  Follow your heart.  Dan Fogelberg sang, “Trust isn’t something that’s spoken… and Love’s never wrong when it’s real!

black and white restaurant lunch kitchen
Photo by Tinyography on Pexels.com

“Not Catholic enough…”

 

I have a number of close friends who are members of the clergy, belonging to a few different denominations.   I’m not sure how they really feel about PBJ Religion.  And some of my dearest friends are practicing Catholics several of whom even work for the Church; and early reviews of my upcoming book tell me they are keeping their distance.

So what is Catholicism anyway?  Basically, it was invented by a guy named Jesus.  He didn’t deliver rambling sermons but chose His words with precision.  He talked about forgiveness.  Like we should do it… a bunch.  I don’t recall exceptions.  PBJ Religion says accept everyone and everything, always and without exception, this is the essence of that forgiveness.  Not with a little bit of apprehension or “Okay, I’ll forgive him this time but I’m not going to make it easy on him…”  By the way, the Pope had to advise some Priests hearing Confessions to stop prying into peoples’ affairs, to stop asking detailed questions.  To me that sounds more like what Jesus was getting at.

A humorous query over the years is, “Is the Pope Catholic?!” as a reply to a silly question which generates an of course “yes” answer.  Pope Francis said that no one is condemned forever.  You’re right: it’s not your grandfather’s Catechism!  Some conservative Bishops think the Pope has some issues… “Not Catholic enough.”  Talk about juxtaposition, huh?!  He’s not perfect, I’ll admit it.  But a real Catholic believes in Infallibility, which Merriam Webster tells us means that he cannot be wrong.  So where do any Catholics (including clergy) get off disagreeing with the Pontiff?  It’s against the rules.  Jesus made the promise to Peter a couple thousand plus years ago that whatever he said for Church decisions would be a “go.”  If you’re confused right now, you may be a part of the “Nones,” meaning you are spiritual but with no religious affiliation—in large part because of this confusion… often clouded with an extra dose of judgmental-ness.

As a Catholic myself, I attempt to stay on top of these doctrines, dogmas, and decisions.  But it’s a constant challenge.  I’m not convinced it’s exactly what the inventor Himself (that would be Jesus) had in mind when I witness some of the political nonsense and other mischief swamping the modern day Christian Churches.  But I still attend; for me and for all the brothers and sisters who are trekking through this earth school…just continuing to try to accomplish the next, best, right decision.  PBJ Religion encourages us to do just that.  Or as the book’s foreword writer and former Executive VP of Disney, Lee Cockerell says, “I recommend we study this book and live the same religion.  PBJ Religion works for all of us and you can still practice your own religion, which probably already promotes this kind of thinking and behavior.”  It just makes common sense, does it not?  Is the Pope Catholic?!

Early review from a reader, and HOW to use it!

Early Reader Review of

“PBJ Religion… Finding Simple Peace” (potential publication date: April, 2020), from Stephanie Repaci, Campus Director of Student Life at Broward College in Florida…

“The author says right upfront how this will not be traditional text!  And it’s not!  It’s a transfer to the relatable—with lots of pop culture inserted; kind of like watching a Seinfeld episode.     The author breaks down his manuscript into four sections, which resonates with the reader.  It cannot really be described as philosophical, but the add-ons give it a rich historical perspective.  PBJ Religion goes far beyond Biblical references; Tim McHeffey is truly a twenty-first century writer!  The subtitle promises that this book is a path to inner peace.  And it is.  The Peacemeal Notes to Self help to re-emphasize that… just another nuance making this book an easy read.”

Thank you, Stephanie for your kind and detailed assessment of PBJ Religion!  This week I wish to emphasize a few guidelines I continually adopt for my own life—comparing Stephanie’s review to my own life (and perhaps yours as well?).

  1. We don’t have to be so traditional if it doesn’t work for us. Begin your own fresh and new!
  2. Life must resonate with us… it must feel right.
  3. Your life IS YOUR manuscript. Break it down into manageable pieces and sections.
  4. Make your own Notes to Self. In the end, it’s only you who is responsible for everything in your own life.
  5. “Life” should be an easy read. We often make it waaay too hard and it does not have to be.

What People REALLY think about at Graduations…

Caroline gradThere they are in a sea of caps and gowns.  From nursery school to Columbia University (where my daughter will receive her Master’s Degree today) and everything in between, we call it “commencement.”  The word means beginning, like starting something new.  We assume that the grads are thinking about their new life and in most cases, the job hunt.  But some speculate that it’s more immediate. For instance, “I wonder if this tie my dad gave me to wear is even fashionable anymore?  People are kind of looking at me funny…”  Or “I hope the place I picked out for dinner is okay for my Grandma with her picky eating habits… she seem to have something to say about everything.”  Musicians in the band can’t get their minds off playing through that one part that they prob should have practiced more.  Or at the Red Robin Nursery annual ceremonies, the five-year-olds couldn’t wait to get to the celebratory Peanut Butter Balls, hand-rolled by—you guessed it: the little kids!  Ahh yeah, shhhurrre I’ll have half-dozen of those, or maybe I’ll wait a bit!

I personally have sat through at least a couple dozen of annuals of all levels and scopes.  I have applauded a gazillion times.   I have been hot, cold, and tired (even dozing off on a few occasions).  Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs says that immediacy thinking is natural, like what is my next goal?  Sometimes it is as simple but profound as finding a urinal.  We are all perpetually graduating from something in life.  That never stops.  Baby steps.  Emily Freeman titles her new book, “The Next Right Thing.”  I like to throw one more word in there… just do the next, BEST right thing!  That’s all any of us can truly and practically achieve in what feels to be the most-scariest world any of us have seen to date.  But it all gets better from here, and we are all part of bettering that situation.  Do your own “next best,” and I will do mine.  How can we miss?!

Don’t even try to appreciate…

Image result for accept

A common piece of advice in dealing with challenging situations is to first appreciate what one has.  PBJ Religion says this is wonderful… IF it were possible.  The fact is though that life is taxing for many, downright arduous for some (life kind of sucks for a lot of people—we may not be in a cross section of what takes place in the rest of the whole world; we tend to take a bunch for granted).  The first step is to Accept… everyone and everything.  Yes, that includes your sneaky co-worker, and your elected officials.  It includes your measly take-home pay, and your judgmental Uncle Paul and Aunt Donna.  And yes it includes accepting you, yourself and all your screw-up decisions; pimples, greys, farts, and all the dumb things that come out of your mouth. Accept it all.  PBJ Religion does not say to love these actions, just accept them without judgement.  But then immediately Aspire to a better mental picture.  Keep hoping, get back on the horse or the bike or whatever metaphor you choose.  Forgive yourself, and you will learn how to forgive others better.  Accept (forgive) and then Aspire (hope), and you will quickly discover that Appreciation becomes an amazing byproduct of life.

We are ALL Agnostics.

Photo caption: Decorating Easter buns with a variety of symbols is an inclusive way to share...

 

That’s right.  You may not want to believe that or even hear it.  But it’s true. Old, tried and true folkways and mores including Catholic beliefs and a modern Catholic Bible, will not endorse the previous statement… but it can’t truly dispute it either.  (I’ve never seen “Catholicism for Dummies” but am guessing it can’t either).  And as usual, there are several categories of defined agnostics, like spiritual agnostics and agnostic Christians.  But basically, it is an individual who believes that nothing is known for sure.  Merriam-Webster takes it further: “a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (such as God) is unknown and probably unknowable.” Liberal Catholics want to believe there’s a bigger and better life after death, but many can’t forget the fear of God personas they learned in Sunday school.

PBJ Religion says it’s all good… eventually.  Everything comes out in the wash of our hearts and souls.  And PBJ also says to Accept and Aspire.  Aspire means to hope, and hope big!  See God and the afterlife as the most awesome, peaceful experience you can imagine.  And when you see people that seem positive about what it’s going to be like when we die, they really don’t. Not 100% possible.  The human, inherent condition is to continuously question; it’s normal and healthy to do so.  That’s why we call it the mystery of faith.

We are ALL Agnostics.

 

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjg-JLg083hAhUMhOAKHUQhBkkQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.kpbs.org%2Fnews%2F2018%2Fmar%2F29%2Fhot-agnostic-buns-a-proposal-for-a-pagan%2F&psig=AOvVaw2zlu383bY7G7S3nttGKS7U&ust=1555264675991717

That’s right.  You may not want to believe that or even hear it.  But it’s true. Old, tried and true folkways and mores including Catholic beliefs and a modern Catholic Bible, will not endorse the previous statement… but it can’t truly dispute it either.  (I’ve never seen “Catholicism for Dummies” but am guessing it can’t either).  And as usual, there are several categories of defined agnostics, like spiritual agnostics and agnostic Christians.  But basically, it is an individual who believes that nothing is known for sure.  Merriam-Webster takes it further: “a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (such as God) is unknown and probably unknowable.” Liberal Catholics want to believe there’s a bigger and better life after death, but many can’t forget the fear of God personas they learned in Sunday school.

PBJ Religion says it’s all good… eventually.  Everything comes out in the wash of our hearts and souls.  And PBJ also says to Accept and Aspire.  Aspire means to hope, and hope big!  See God and the afterlife as the most awesome, peaceful experience you can imagine.  And when you see people that seem positive about what it’s going to be like when we die, they really don’t. Not 100% possible.  The human, inherent condition is to continuously question; it’s normal and healthy to do so.  That’s why we call it the mystery of faith.