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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Dear Catholic Fried Rice Reader: I'm Sorry for My Vanity

From today's Gospel, Matthew 23:23-26

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.  You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.  Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup so that the outside also may be clean."

Even the big heads of dinosaurs didn't save them.
Today's Gospel spoke to me because I'll admit it---I'm vain.  I often care too much about how I appear, that
I have it all together, when the reality is often not true.  I was that kid (and now the adult ) who would"clean" his room, shoving stuff in the closet, in the drawers, and under the bed so the room "appears" clean while the unseen parts are still messy.  For those who follow Catholic Fried Rice, have you noticed yet that when I write about my "accomplishments" on this blog, it's only after several weeks, months, or even years of said "purity" and "chastity" and never have I written while I'm in the muck of things?  It's too private, it's too close, it's too ugly.

Yesterday I was listening to a CD by Dr. Peter Kreeft on the Culture War, and I felt he was calling me out directly when he was talking about how sometimes we care too much about "humanity" and not enough about "our neighbor."  For example, it's easy for us to care about the "poor", but what do we do when we actually see a homeless person on the street?  We may not give him anything, but do we (including myself) walk by without eye contact or a hello, acknowledgement that all humans deserve.  Many people in the Catholic Church (including myself) will often have stances about "same-sex marriage" but how many of us have spent time or made friends with a gay man or lesbian woman, remembering to follow through with the Church's primary call to love the person first and not judge him or her right away for any actions that they may or may not be doing?  With that said, how many people standing outside the Church doors decide to judge us"religious people", without giving one of us a chance, realizing that we are just normal people with quirks and sins just like any other person.

As a writer, I will tell you one of my biggest downfalls.  Google Analytics tells me Catholic Fried Rice gets 100-150 unique views a day upwards to 200-600 views on certain posts, though I'm still convinced the frequency is due to random Google searches from people who accidentally fall on the page.  With that said, I often do not know who reads this blog (accept for the handful of people who tell me so) so my biggest downfall is that I have a tendency to talk at people and not to an individual.  Again as Dr. Kreeft says, it's so much easier to talk at humanity, than to my neighbor.  My biggest example is when I talk about "men" and how we're called for more, but then forget that the guy sitting near me, or my friend, or my own family members are also included in this group, and I often forget to include what I write about in my individual conversations with each of these individuals.  I sometimes forget who I'm writing to and for, and not just at.  

So I apologize Catholic Fried Rice reader, for you the individual who may be reading this at your desk during one of your office breaks or maybe later tonight in the comfort of your home.  May I remember to walk with you, not in front of you, throwing answers I pretend and appear to have.

Together, maybe we can say this prayer:

Lord, make me aware of my complete unworthiness, my desperate need for You, and the immense joy You bring into my life.



  1. Be careful that this blog is not an outlet for your vanity.

    1) No truth you speak originates from you. You are a vessel.

    2) No apology you make is free from false humility, the pride that one is penitent.

    I hope the best for you.

    1. You're absolutely right. Thank you for your input.