Neither Benedict Ambrose nor I emerged physically unscathed from his little cancer experience. B.A. has a long-term (if not permanent) bump on his head and I have two juicy rolls of belly fat, thanks to the stress and anxiety that B.A.'s tumour brought in its basket for little me. I have to say, though, that it's only fair that if he had to suffer damage, then I had to suffer damage, too, for we are married and therefore one flesh, etc.
However, I object to feeling sad all the time now that B.A. has mostly recovered, so I have cut my sugar intake, plan to get a puppy, and have taken up daily exercise classes.
Sometimes I take two exercise classes a day, and yesterday between one and the other I stopped into a proper Catholic chapel to spend time with the Lord. My colleagues recommend that people in our line of work go to Mass every day, but the Mass nearest me is depressing, and the TLM is an hour away, and I have to get up before 6 AM even to catch the right train. But anyway I popped into the chapel and prayed my usually gloomy prayers, punctuated with "Lord have mercy." Then it occurred to me that I was wronging Our Lord by constantly addressing him as the Stern Judge. Thus I tried out, "Lord, I love you."
"Feed my sheep," was the response in my head, and then I remembered poor hapless St. Peter being asked three times if he loved the Lord and feeling a bit hurt even though, as we all know, there was reason for doubt.
This morning on my way to another exercise class, I thought that the instruction "Feed my sheep" might mean I am to write something other than The Worse News in the World, and that the one group of people I can really help today with my writing are other Catholic journalists, especially the ones who are fat because they are sad.
I checked this interpretation out with the Lord at the chapel this morning, and the image of a whale appeared in my head, which reminded me of Jonah, so I rushed home after class to get cracking instead of going to the library.
Right. So it has not escaped my notice that a significant number of Catholic journalists and bloggers are overweight, and although there is no doubt this is partly because we sit at a computer for eight hours a day or more, I believe it is also because we are terribly sad. We are terribly sad because we love the Church and the Church is in the middle of a civil war and we feel like the rug was pulled out from under us when Benedict XVI resigned.
It also feels like a hidden trap door opened before us, as we lay sprawling, and all kinds of scary creatures came pouring out. I don't know if you remember this, but nobody was talking very much about communion-for-civilly-remarried or, heaven knows, celebrating in Church the "special gifts" that supposedly come along with same-sex attraction until October 2014. Here was Benedict, not even cold in his grave, having not actually died, and there were Archbishop Forte and Father Rosica making it up as they went along at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family.
That was well after "Who am I to judge?", which actually I survived pretty well, as I read what Pope Francis actually said, although when I was in Rome soon after that, most of my friends there went about squeaking "Who am I to judge? Who am I to judge?" in falsetto, and if life were Tosca, Scarpia would have shoved us all in a Vatican dungeon.
My little triumphalist Irish Catholic peasant heart didn't break until the mid-term relatio was given to the media, and had Archbishop Gądecki had not stomped over to Vatican Radio to tell the Poles it was all nonsense, I do not know what I would have done. As it was, I got super-drunk.
But we know all this. Ancient history. Since then McCarrick and Wuerl et cetera and et alia. It never ends, and so Catholic journalists--possibly even the ones who are trying to Sing a New Church into Being--are very sad. I am sure the anti-Catholic journalists are having a whale of a time.
So what to do? Well, first, I would recommend that all Catholic bloggers and journalists not turn on our computers until we have done 45 minutes of exercise, gone outdoors and eaten breakfast. (This is where everyone says "I am not a doctor, talk to a doctor before beginning any exercise regimen, etc. etc.")
Second, I would recommend that all Catholic bloggers and journalists give up booze, smokes, coffee, sugar and whatever else makes people more unhealthy and more depressed.
Third, I would recommend that all Catholic bloggers and journalists fast from the internet before and after work hours. Yes, we are all addicts. Of course, we are addicts. Find something that isn't food that is just as interesting as the internet. Last night I decided it was sleep.
Fourth, I would recommend that all Catholic bloggers and journalists make sure we balance our gloomy prayers with happy prayers. Thank God for the sunshine and the rain and the kids in the family and how good you feel having taken up 45 minutes of exercise for the day.
Fifth, I would recommend that all Catholic bloggers and journalists return to fun activities they put aside when they took to their current job or blogging. For me, that would be actually blogging. I like blogging and giving advice and thinking about other people's romances. It's a lot more fun than writing about the latest homosexual bishop to be found covering up his favourite's homosexual sex abuse.
Sixth, I would recommend that all Catholic bloggers and journalists read and write about all the filth only when we have to--and we DO have to, since we are the fumigators of the Church, and nobody else will do the stinky job--and the rest of the time read and write about lovely things.
Seventh, set a timer and get up every 20 minutes to move around although NOT TO SNACK.
This last point is for me, since I find myself in the kitchen several times a day, usually while reading something particularly horrible I'm going to have to write about even though Christine Niles already did a fine job and I have nothing new to add.
Well, I hope this is helpful to someone. I am now now going to check my work email to see what new horrors have been unleashed on the Church and the world.