Wherein Fr. Z gives an update about life and changes

A personal note to readers.

About a month ago, during a trip to DC, I met for lunch with a good friend, a solid priest, who straight out told me that I’ve lost my “mo jo”.

I’m not exactly sure what “mo jo” is, other than the rather awful dictionary definition which involves “voodoo”, but I take it to mean that he thought I’ve not been at my best, I’ve lost momentum, my edge.

The next evening, sitting at the same table with a different friend, a layman, as supper wound down and all the catching up was done he unfolded for me what he wanted his life to look like in ten years.

He had changes mapped out so that he could see to the business he built and to his employees, he had plans for where he wanted to live and was taking steps to obtain the place, he had a concrete idea about how he wanted to spend his time productively, in a brand new project for personal fulfillment but which would benefit others.  It was impressive.

Then he asked me what I wanted my life to look like in ten years.

I couldn’t tell him.

At the moment that didn’t disturb me very much, because – after all – I’ve fruitful work, good brick by brick successes, etc.  Life, you know, could be better but it’s going along fine.

However, in the days that followed that “mo jo” thing and my friend’s life question really worked on me.

These two friends, without knowledge of the other, from their openness and care pushed me to evaluate what I am doing, to look at the status quaestionis of my quickly passing life, and to see what needed to be addressed.  I believe they were prompted by God to help me do something.

If we should examine our consciences every night concerning the day, we should examine the wider arc of life as well with a view to the future.  I’m I doing what I need to be doing?

God often really does prompt us – if we are paying attention.  Think of the old story about the man on the roof in a flood, who refused help from people in boats and helicopters because he trusted that God would save him.  He drowns and goes before God.  The man says, “I trusted in you, but I drowned anyway!”  God responds, “Right! And I sent people in boats and helicopters.  What are you doing here?!?”

Ten years.  A plan.  Ten years.  That’ll take me beyond Ps 90:10.

On the one hand, I’ve ironically quipped, “If you want to know if God notices you, just make a plan.”  As in battle, as soon as things get real, your battle plan goes out the window.  On the other hand, if you go into battle with no plan at all, or you are ignoring the fact of battle to come, you are toast.

The near future right now looks pretty grim, in the secular realm and in the Church.  The battle is coming.  Trotsky said that you might not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.  Plan.

“What’s my plan?”, I’ve been drilling at myself.  “What do I want to be doing in 2031?”, if God gives me the years.”

Having been aided by God working through my friends – my Hur and Aaron – my boat and helicopter – I’ve been pondering and consulting.

I’ve made some decisions.

I have found things, dear readers, interior and exterior, that have to change.  For my peace, my future, with my eye on the prize of heaven for me and for others, to serve God and neighbor better, it is time to make some moves.

I will continue to write here.  I’ll will circle back more often to the original idea of the blog: commentary, sure, about lots of things… but more liturgical work again, more catechesis, etc.  As a matter of fact, I did a little more of that lately and some who hate my ‘chittl’ns’ didn’t like it one little bit.

Many who write to me with feedback or who add comments to their kind donations (thank you, benefactors) say that they appreciate how much they have learned here.  Vox populi.  I’m listening.

I am going to work on the “mo jo” issue.  I’m not quite sure what that is, but …

That – by the way – should be interesting in this present atmosphere of “cancel culture” now infecting the Church, as well as the media and streets.

There is a catholic Antifa now.  They are feeling their ascendancy and they are applying it.  We will see more persecution leveled at any one who strays from their demands.  The New catholic Red Guard.  They are bullies.  They are easy to spot.  They aren’t even trying to hide it anymore.  In the near future they will be a force of great evil in the Church and we must find ways to resist them without stooping to their thuggery, without giving in to hate.  God help them.

I need to get back into writing for something other than this blog.  I have books to get out at long last!  I could write something new for a “legacy” Catholic publication again, since our Catholic internet presence may get suppressed if cancel culture and the New catholic Red Guard has its way.  I’ve been online in a visible way since 1992!  Until recently, I wrote a weekly column since 1999!   I have had a break, but I could reinvent and do that again.

I will keep working with the wonderful Tridentine Mass Society of Madison, though I foresee reinvention for that mission as well.  Don’t worry about your donations to it, even if you live some place else!  The work of the TMSM has had a wide impact, giving a lot of inspiration to others.  We can do more and do it better.

And I have health issues to address as well.  Darn Adam, anyway!

A major point.

My years in my adoptive Diocese of Madison have be fruitful on many levels.  However, I’ve have discerned that – while I still can – I need to be closer to family. I’m not getting younger and neither are they.  That, in itself, requires me to relocate in the not too distant future, to move, or at least to spend long stretches of time in places other than in Madison.  I’ve discussed this with necessary parties.  That’s in the works.   I thank God and many others who have been so good to me here.  I’ll be around, however, and I won’t be a stranger.

I dread the details and work of uprooting and moving.  The law of inertia sets in for us: bodies at rest remain at rest until some force works on them.  However, the flip side is also true.  Bodies in motion stay in motion, until some force works on them.   We have all, I imagine, had the experience of getting comfortable and then falling out of gear… maybe losing our “mo jo”?  Once we get going again, it is a joy to be on the move.

One advantage to moving is that it forces you to streamline.  The Roman legions called their equipment impedimenta.  I am pondering my beloved books and they are staring back at me.  But stuff has to go.

Expect now predictable malicious and twisted conjecture about me from the camp of the enemy – bzzzzz bzzzzz bzzzzz – from the usual suspects.  They’ve been at me and others related to me for a while.  They will keep it up.  It’s what they do.

In anticipation, I have for a while now been praying for my enemies. I have begged God for the grace to forgive those who have done great harm to me and to others whom I respect and care for.  I have been gearing up for the next wave of assault.  Pray that I not weaken and give into hatred when the vilification from the Left, from catholic Antifastarts up again.

God cannot be deceived and I tremble for them.

That’s my update.

I have a lot of details still to work out.

I’m not as young as I once was.  My earthly time is on the fly. In May, I will be 30 years a priest!  I will have to account before the Just Judge for what was given to me, life and a vocation, for what I have done and what I have failed to do.  Just blink and years have passed.  Motus in finem velocior.  In my weakness and flaws I want to serve God and help people get to heaven and, in doing so, be admitted to the joy of heaven with as many of you as possible.

And… many of you have been reading me and helping and praying for me for a long time. I am honored. I ask you, please: keep it going.  I am so very grateful.  I now need your support more than ever.  I’ll do my part for you.

To do that better, reinvention is in order.

If the blog has been helpful to you, please drop me a note?  Please put in the subject line: LIFE CHANGES




About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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