Today’s find: Prime seat

Sometimes, a seat of prominence can make you look absolutely ridiculous.

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Why is THIS a good idea?

That was among the take-aways as I traveled “up from Jericho to Jerusalem” about this time last year. Our pilgrimage group made a stop at a tourist trap just outside of town – and while there, I couldn’t resist the temptation to take a brief ride on a camel.

Now, I can safely say “been there, done that.” I can’t imagine my ever wanting to mount a dromedary ever again. As I discovered, they’re rather smelly beasts, and uncomfortable too.

I recalled my camel ride – with just a touch of wistfulness – when I heard the gospel at Mass today. In the reading, Jesus and the disciples are themselves heading up to Jerusalem…when a discussion about “seats of prominence” takes place. As the story unfolds, you get the feeling that almost no one in the Lord’s company is actually listening to him. He’s delivering a rather harsh forecast about their trip to Jerusalem, where:

…the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified…

But the Twelve can’t be bothered with those pesky details. They’d rather focus on establishing the pecking order for their merry little band. And the whole discussion casts them all in a remarkably unfavorable light. Not as goofy as an Ancient-American-Camel-Jockey, perhaps – but certainly not anything approaching “noble” or “worthy,” either.

As sinful, prideful people, we just can’t help ourselves, I suppose. It can take years to grow beyond our bad habits…if we ever manage to do so. But it helps to stay connected to the Lord. It helps if we work on listening – really listening – for the Spirit’s voice.

Which is why I’m posting here – at Steadfast Spirit – for the first time in about seven years. If you missed the message back in 2013, I just want you to know that I’m still blogging about ‘found spirituality’. Here’s the link to my current site:

And I recently published this “original” collection of blog posts in a book form – with a new introduction, and daily scripture passages to pray and ponder.

If you’re interested in getting a copy of the book, it’s available at several fine shops in the St. Louis area:

~ Catholic Supply

~ Pauline Books & Media (Crestwood)

~ LaSalle Retreat Center (Wildwood)

~ King’s House Retreat (Belleville)

~ White House Jesuit Retreat (Oakville)

Or you can find it online, at any of these sites:


Barnes & Noble:

Peace – and Lenten blessings to you – from atop my camel’s seat!

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Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.