CMO25: 060521 GOING FROM "HERE" TO "THERE"
"Forgive me Father, for I have sinned..." -- I have been doing a great deal of reflection lately about what it is I need to change (about myself and in my life) and how I can move forward in my relationship with Christ and what I believe I have been called to do -- to teach others about the importance of love and prayer.
Since 2017, when I felt a strong calling to return to a meaningful relationship with the Lord through the Church and, of course, Mother Mary, I feel that all I have done is made a bigger mess of things.
It is a good thing that the Lord and not me is in charge.
After last night's meeting with my Courage brethren in addition to reflecting on recent news I received from a brother in Christ about a young man who recently commited suicide -- something I take very seriously and understand all too well. I had to stop and consider, "Where am I in the grand scheme of things? How am I truly living out my life? Am I really walking with Christ or just pretending that I am? Am I actually doing God's work?"
Don't get me wrong. I am trusting that if I am not really walking with Christ, His love and mercy are greater than my sins and narcissistic belly aching (which I do not mean to do), and that He will continue to provide the grace I require, providing I truly want that grace, to always do the good (credit to Fr. Mike Schmitz) and fight the good fight.
During last night's dinner meeting the subject was brought up about the YouTube show, Coffee Break with Carlos Michael, which has been in production since February 2019. We only discussed it briefly, however, the look on one of my guests' face who initially subscribed to watch the shows was enough for me to bow my head in shame and say to myself, "What am I doing? Am I using the talent and resources that have been blessed to me in a manner that is not planting seeds of faith and brining people back to Christ through love, prayer, and dare I say, entertainment? Have I crossed the line somewhere and failed to act responsibly with these gifts that have been blessed to me? Should I stop pretending to be an evangelist for the Christ and His Church and move on to something else?"
I must confess that my dinner guest's silent look shook me to my core. I have a great number of thoughts swirling through my mind at the moment. I cannot seem to shut them off or slow them down. It is as if my mind were going into a tailspin, which is just another way of saying that my thoughts feel out of control.
I feel conflicted (for lack of a better word), in my heart. This is something that I will have to take to prayer. Going to confession and receiving the Holy Eucharist at Mass will help. However, I need to take this, whatever this is to prayer. I need to find my way toward the narrow road and learn to bear fruit in my work to serve God, otherwise, what good am I accomplishing? How am I helping others?
I cannot believe that I am 59 years into life and I am asking the same questions I asked when I was in my 20s.
The most difficult part of this journey is knowing that I must love myself as I love my neighbors, and, even more importantly, that I must trust in the Lord and His grace to get me from here to there, because as He said, I cannot do it without Him.
Work From Home
Are you looking for a work from home opportunity? Check out the Sitel website for work at home opportunities. I intend to look into it myself later in the week. I will keep you posted.
"Carlos, I understand you produce in addition to this blog, a weekly podcast and video blog. Working as a one-person operation and trying to meet the demands of daily life, what do you find to be the most challenging when attempting to meet the deadline for each show?" (E.C., Tulsa, OK)
That is a great question, E.C. Thank you for asking. Probably the most difficult aspect of the shows is making time to script both shows, decerning what content to present and building out individual segments when I have to stop to make a restroom call, assist the occupants of my home, run errands, clean the house, take care of the lawn outside, etc. Often times I go to bed very exhausted. But, I wouldn't have it any other way. I like for my mind to be engaged and busy, so when I do purposely make time (and I do) to pause and let the Lord of my gratitude, it comes from a genuine place of gratitude and that is what matters most. At the end of the day, if He is pleased, then I am pleased.
*This is NOT a paid endorsement.
Hey Baby Boomers! If you are reaching the point of the aging process where incontenency is an issue, you may want to check out the products available for us men (and women) from the folks at wearevermen. Listen, don't feel bad. Incontinency is like cataracts and canes. It happens to all of us as, if we are blessed enough to make it through the aging process. Check them out today.
Hopefully, beginning with my next blog installment, I will be ready to offer my personal reviews or opinion of recently watched films and television or books and articles I may have read. Of course, as with any review, keep in mind that it is only my opinion and just because I like or dislike something, does not mean that you will.
Leave It To Beaver
Why do I enjoy watching this non-realistic show of the 50s? Well, despite June Cleaver, played by the late Barbara Billingsley, who is always dressed to the nines as she cleans house and attends to her motherly duties, and dad, Ward Cleaver, played by the late Hugh Beaumont who always seems to be dressed up as if he is going to work, I believe I enjoy watching this show because of what it represents.
And what does it represent (for me)?
An age of innocents. A time in American history when families were, for the most part, solid and strong. When respect, values, and morals mattered, especially respect for authority, parents, teachers, religious leaders, etc. Even more importantly, God was, for most people of that era at the center of the universe. He mattered and people believed in Him. I am not saying that isn't the case today, because it is for many families across the fruited plain. It's just that I sometimes have difficulty seeing Him in the people and families of today. I don't recognize him as He was in the 50s or even when I was growing up. I don't know. Maybe my eyes are just getting old.
Do I wish that we could return to the good ol' days?
No, because back then, credit to Fr. Mike Schmitz who said this, "Those were not the good ol' days." They become the good ol' days when we are no longer in those days or are far removed from those days; when we mistakenly compare the present to the past.
I prefer to see today as the good ol' days and to make the most of what has been blessed to me today. If only we could do that in not quite the way we seem to be doing it today. Thank God for His mercy and to those who never stop praying.