Starbucks, Christmas and Misguided People

by Bill Brenner November 11, 2015 Communication skills for the crazy

This is from the “people need to get a life” file. It will be my only statement on this uproar over Starbucks’ red coffee cups. My faith is well documented in this blog. I go to church just about every Sunday, and my family is heavily involved in parish activities. To me, the “War on Christmas” rhetoric has always been a stupid distraction — just another thing for people to get whiny and self-righteous about. This…  [Read More]

Life Doesn’t Suck, We Just Need Our Life Jackets

by Bill Brenner May 27, 2015 Coping tools

Lately, I’ve been going through a tough period and been documenting it here because it’s another journey and I like to document all my journeys. One thing I’m re-learning on this trek is that it’s important to find life jackets that keep you from drowning when the floods come. Put on the life jacket for a couple hours or a couple of days pockets to keep your head above water. Mood music: Last weekend while the…  [Read More]

Ireland’s Gay Marriage Vote Was Inevitable

by Bill Brenner May 26, 2015 News

Some on social media are surprised Ireland voted so overwhelmingly to legalize gay marriage. One reason may be because Ireland is so predominantly Catholic, and Catholic doctrine says homosexuality is wrong. As an American Catholic, I think the vote went as it did because more and more Catholics are thinking as I do on this subject. Mood music: My conscience tells me that government has absolutely no business defining what marriage — and, more to the…  [Read More]

When Life and Death Dance on Eggshells

by Bill Brenner April 15, 2015 Life and Death

I mentioned yesterday that my father is bedridden and that things aren’t looking good. I’ve lost count of how many times in the last four years we’ve gathered as a family, thinking he was at the end. Each time he’s bounced back, like some unseen force keeps pulling him back for a few more rounds. Mood music: When I visited him last Sunday, he was too tired to talk much. He just wanted to sleep….  [Read More]

A Priest Comes Clean About Binge Eating

by Bill Brenner March 31, 2015 Addiction

I’ve written at length about two things in this blog: my struggle with compulsive binge eating and my faith. My faith helps me deal with my demons, including the eating. So when a priest comes forward and admits he has a similar demon to fight, I take notice. Mood music: Rev. Ryan Rooney, a parochial vicar at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish in Springfield, Mass., did just that in an article he wrote about…  [Read More]

Jesus’s Drafty, Leaky House

by Bill Brenner September 23, 2013 Faith

During Mass yesterday, the priest repeatedly told us that “Jesus lives inside you.” I couldn’t help but think about what that must be like in my case. Mood music: If I were a house, I could imagine Him grappling with a constant flow of repair bills. There’s more square footage than the heating system can accommodate and the place is drafty as a result. The roof leaks constantly. The place is teeming with vermin. Yet…  [Read More]

Be The Blessing

by Bill Brenner July 9, 2013 Coping tools

I privately responded to a reader this morning who gets eaten up over current events, be it the government spying on citizens or news of potential calamities. She asked how to make it stop, and I gave a long answer that left out the most important point of all. Mood music: The reader’s message said, in part: I deal with scrupulosity, ruminations over heaven and hell, conspiracy theories and intrusive thoughts. It’s gotten to the…  [Read More]

I Like This Pope

by Bill Brenner June 25, 2013 Faith

As a Catholic who has rebelled against the political structure of the Church, I gotta say this new Pope is giving me a lot of hope. Francis is turning out to be a rebel in his own right, shunning the trappings of power and putting the focus squarely back on Jesus, where it belongs. Mood music: The latest example: Pope Francis skipped a concert over the weekend where he was to be the guest of…  [Read More]

If the Charges Are True, This Man Is a Monster

by Bill Brenner April 24, 2013 Crime and punishment

I tend to avoid the abortion issue, because it’s a no-win topic. But I’ve been following a murder trial recently that turns my stomach so severely that I can’t keep my mouth shut. Mood music: [spotify:track:21MwEJ8tHezcPy77BaELJ6] The Catholic Church tends to label anyone who is against Roe v. Wade as being a baby killer. I don’t think the situation is that simple. I agree that abortion is wrong, tragic and evil. It disgusts me that some…  [Read More]

I Forgot to Trust God, Now I’m Paying for It

by Bill Brenner March 21, 2013 Faith

I got out of bed this morning after another rotten sleep and it hit me: I’ve been having trouble sleeping through the night and controlling daytime anxiety because I’m in one of my classic control freak-outs, in which I get depressed because I am anxious about everything and want to control it all. In other words, I’ve been stewing over things beyond my control and forgetting to put my trust in God. Mood music: [spotify:track:7v0mtl6oInUtHOmTk2b0gC] Big,…  [Read More]