The Right Coast

March 22, 2004
Family Life Update
By Tom Smith

I don't generally wear shorts, unless it's really warm. A few months ago, I was wearing shorts and my lovely wife Jeanne said, "Your legs look really . . . "

At this time I was working out maniacally, especially with my legs, for a climbing trip. I would do 120 squats with 150 lbs. I spent four hours on a step mill with a 60 lbs. pack and mountaineering boots. I would do toe raises until I wept. "Strong-looking?" I was thinking, "shapely? fit? ripped? powerful?" "Really what?" I said.

"Really white."

* * *
"I'm glad I'm not named Rich," William (age 7) said.
"Why?" said Jeanne.
"Because it means weiner!"
"I think you mean "dick," dear."
"I know."
I promised Jeanne not to blog about the child or the behavior during Mass yesterday that very nearly caused me to go insane and beat my child to death during the service, which would be no doubt some sort of serious sin. However, just a note to those who might give sermons in the future. If there is a story in the gospel, there is no need to repeat the entire story in different words during the homily. Take yesterday, the story of the prodigal son. You know the story. You have heard it before. Good story. You listen to it again. By Catholic standards, it is a long gospel, especially in a packed church with kids driving you deeply insane. So, yes, it ends as it has before. Now comes the homily. Do not repeat the story! We just heard it! We get it! Add something! We know it is a parable! And then this praying for the sick business. It has gotten so that we are sitting through scores of names being read out. No doubt they are really sick. But how about "and all the sick in our parish," or maybe you should at least have to be in the hospital or something. There is some evidence (controversial of course) that intercessory prayer for the sick works. But is there any evidence you have to mention them by name, out loud, to have the desired effect? I doubt it.