The Soulful Catholic Blog
by Joyce Coronel, caffeine junkie and mom of five
Placing the last few ornaments on the Christmas tree, the lyrics of a traditional carol floated around The Soulful Catholic’s living room:
A thrill of hope; the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks, a new and glorious morn.
It was the kind of headline that appeals to the self-delusion and selfishness that characterize the darkness into which our post-Christian Western civilization has sunk: “Your feelings are your truth.”
Members of the Class of 1981 are a little older and wiser--and still good friends. “That’s where it used to be,” I gushed as my husband and I flew down 44th Street in Phoenix past a long-term hotel on a recent Saturday night. It was going to be a quiet evening at home...
Twenty years in the world of newspapers ended on an ordinary Friday afternoon last week as I walked away from being editor of an East Valley publication.
The Soulful Catholic was feeling especially beloved by God on Oct. 1, the feast of St. Therese of Lisieux. Ever since reading the children’s version of the saint’s biography at the tender age of 8, there was a kinship with this Doctor of the Church, a French Catholic nun who was unknown to the world until after her death at age 24.
The sheaf of papers in a bulky envelope from the health care system our family belongs to arrived in the mail. Along with all the instructions for the procedure I was to have done was a document with one short paragraph. After filling in my name, I was expected to sign it before a witness.
The 12 sets of eyes staring back at me pondered the question: What would happen if at your next soccer game, there were no rules? You could pick up the ball with your hands if you wanted to, even if you weren’t the goalie. There’d be no out-of-bounds at all. And, the score would be whatever you wanted it to be.
My husband and I were sound asleep that morning, oblivious to the nightmare unfolding in New York City on September 11, 2001. Pounding on the front door sent us stumbling from our bed to find a neighbor, a World War II combat veteran, looking extremely agitated.
“We’re under attack!” he shouted. “Turn on the TV!” With that, he hurried back across the street.
A likable woman who’s running for local office was lamenting the fact that knocking on doors in neighborhoods to share her message with voters just wasn’t working out as well as in previous races.
If your journey through life takes you enough times around the sun, eventually it happens. And when it does, your heart just might break.
I can still picture the middle-aged man, Stephen, standing in our driveway, a huge grin on his face.
“I knew it!” he exclaimed. “I just knew it. Catholics do know Jesus! They’re not bad people!”
What an unforgettable conversation that day. Stephen had been our bug guy for several years, coming out every quarter and helping to stem the tide against scorpions, black widows and other nasties that tended to disrupt the harmony of the Soulful Catholic’s humble homestead. The outline of the fish on the back of his mini Toyota truck gave evidence of his Christian faith and, impressively, he usually found a way to bring Christ into the conversation. Every. Single. Time.
The happy news came, as news of this kind frequently does, through a social media post.
Crimson rose petals shaped the words: Will you marry me?
Susan was doctoral candidate with a bright future the night her life changed forever. The evening bicycle ride with her husband was something they did regularly but would never share again. After the freak accident in 1994, her entire left leg had to be amputated.
“Jesus hears ya,” the flashing, digital billboard declared as I slowly drove past.
Never doubt that God has a sense of humor.