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Douglas, Alaska, United States
I have lived in Alaska since 1978, having come to Juneau as a Jesuit Volunteer. I fell in love with Alaska and now live on Douglas Island with my husband and two dogs.

Monday, June 9, 2014

One Pound of Flesh, Pentecost and Fire and Brimstone

Well - I weighed myself day before yesterday, and I had lost exactly...one pound.  One measly pound, after going without bread, cake, cookies, pie, etc. for two and a half weeks.

So I have reconsidered the no-wheat plan and now I am going to try to eat healthy, still trying to avoid all carbs and perhaps throw in a fast day here and there.  I never have been a crash/fad diet sort of person, but I thought that the no-wheat plan was going to be a winner.  Nope.

In other news, yesterday was Pentecost Sunday, and the church was all dressed up in red and even some of the parishioners were wearing red in honor of the day (including me)!  Here is a photo that I took of one of the windows that Charles designed, painted and helped build for the Cathedral:

Our pastor was out of town, so Mass was said by another priest, who started out his homily quite well, talking about the many languages that were spoken by the apostles on Pentecost, and asked us to imagine each of us given one or more of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  And then, he took a turn for the worse and started ranting.  It was an old fashioned fire-and-brimstone homily.  It was awful to watch and to hear.   There were so many other themes he could have talked about: the joy of Pentecost, the gifts of the Holy Spirit (he so very briefly touched on this) or the birth of the Church.  But instead it was hellfire and damnation for 20 minutes.   I wanted to stand up and ask him to stop shouting at us.  He hectored and accused and scolded and went on and on and on.  I know that his style can be pedantic, but I have actually heard him give bearable (if not good) sermons over the years.  This was way over the top.

It was a real shame.  Mostly I found myself praying that this would not be an occasion of sin for me (uncharitable thoughts, etc), and cringing because we had so many visitors attending Mass that day (Juneau is a tourist town), and also musing that anyone who speaks to an assembly of the people of God this way can not be a happy man.  

So, please pray for him, folks.  I think he needs prayers, like we all do.


  1. Don't be discouraged about the weight. Do you clothes fit any differently? That is what I go by.

  2. Trying to lose weight is always discouraging-I know!

  3. I hear you about the weight loss... Praying and pondering about this very topic was on my heart and mind about an hour ago, when I was at prayer. Like you, I am not one for any special fad short term diet, but I'd love to find a way to simply be more healthy - which would mean many things, including losing weight. I'll pray for you about this specifically. And thank you in advance, if you can help me with your prayers for me.

    Oh... the mass. That is not good. However, that you said this is a blessing, "and also musing that anyone who speaks to an assembly of the people of God this way can not be a happy man." So true. It is not even good Catholic theology, as you know. I'm so sorry, and I will indeed pray for him.

  4. Homilies like that- about the hard teachings- are needed. They really are. *However*, they're needed by one's normal parish priest, after a real relationship has been cultivated. Just like you wouldn't start talking about hellfire and brimstone to a stranger on a bus, but would with a close friend, so should priests craft their homilies.
    Also, you're right- Pentecost is not the time for that. When I was still Presbyterian, we got a new preacher. His first big holiday was Christmas, and his whole sermon was about the Slaughter of the Innocents (of course, not being Catholic, he didn't use that phrase). On Christmas! It really set a decidedly unfriendly tone in the congregation after that.

    Congrats on your loss! A loss is a loss and is always something to be celebrated!


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