Saturday, May 18, 2013

Blogging and me

That's reality.  Or, that's wishful thinking right now.  Regulars should note there has been a sudden drop in posts.  The reason is simple.  Time.  My new job with its cumbersome schedule is a temporary fix.  It won't sustain us forever.  But it stops the bleeding.  We were losing money and losing it fast.  We still have a massive dose of debt from when we first became Catholic that we've never been able to pay off.

Long and short, as I've said before, the number of real, bona fide Protestant Clergy who become Catholic is minuscule   Now, there are folks who have held various levels of positions within ministry who become Catholic.  Youth pastors, part time pastors, professors in religious institutions, lawyers who help our religious institutions.  But your full time, 'only a pastor and nothing more' who becomes Catholic is actually a rare breed, despite what some ministries dedicated to the subject might suggest.

I know this because I worked for one for a while, and noticed that most of the testimonies we tried to get from people were of the 'I did some ministry/I was a part time minister/I went to seminary but was never a minister/I did youth ministry' variety. That means, the financial hit that everyone thinks about doesn't usually happen.  Even when they are full time ministers, I've talked to some who had spouses who were well set (one a wife who's a nurse, no small income there, another with a wife whose family was of independent means).

And that's the kick I usually don't mention.  My wife worked within our denominational framework as well.  She made her living from our denomination just as I did, as a teacher in a Christian school.  And it was losing her job when we became Catholic that really threw us for a tailspin.  Being me, I try to plan ahead.  When we left my pastoral ministry to enter the Church, I though I had my ducks in a row.  We knew it would be tough, and the usual problems with starting life over at 40, no real marketable skills, etc.  But we had it planned out and then BAM!  My wife went to the school that August to start getting ready for school and couldn't find her mailbox in the office.  It went down from there.

So we took what is probably a nearly unparalleled hit to become Catholic, at least in America.  Not to whine or fuss or pat ourselves on the back, but let's face it, how many people give up both incomes and literally all their savings and benefits for the Faith, at least in our country? Not many.  And so there's not really an official branch of the Church to help us out.

There have been phenomenally generous Catholics in our parishes that, through our parishes, have helped us at critical times.  That's kept us alive.  Help from the family as well.  But neither of us come from families rolling in dough.  So it's been us, some generous Catholics, and God.  And through it all, we've kept our little starter home that's become the homestead, we've kept our beat up ten year old cars, and we've kept food on the table, if not lost most of what we had saved.

All this is to say, beggars can't be choosers.  The job I have I needed.  It's in the financial sector, which is about as far from what I'd prefer as you can imagine.  And it's far from what we need, incomes having stagnated and if you do the math backward, it's barely what a kid bagging groceries would have been paid when I was in high school.  Benefits aren't the best either.  But we had to stop the gushing of funds.  The debt was, ironically, making it impossible to move forward and we were sinking month by month.

So I've taken this job, praying for some miracle that will help us back on our feet, and getting by with the usual 'entry level schedule.'  That means, as inconvenient as imaginable.  Since our Eighth grader has his confirmation today, and since we're still trying to keep our boys in homeschool, time has just been limited.  Given the usual obligations that come from life, as well as those considerations I just mentioned, I've just not had time to blog.  Or at least, time to organize my thoughts.  Rather than post things that don't make sense or have more holes in their logic than Swiss cheese, I've chosen not to post.  And rather than it just be one long string of pictures of the boys (which we haven't had time to take), I've opted to remain silent.

I'll try to post some.  I will.  Readership was picking up and going through the ceiling, I actually found my blog referenced on some other blogs recently!  So I'm not giving up.  But probably until summer, or more likely, until a better schedule comes by - one way or another - things will be slim.  The posts may be quick snippets rather than actual thoughts.  But I'll do what I can.  I appreciate all who've come by, those who have commented, and hopefully folks will touch base until I'm back up and able to trip the blog fantastic once more.

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