This is just to say…

…that I am back. This isn’t a real post or anything, just sort of a hello. Here are some things I did on my sabbatical.

  • Drove all over creation spending money like a drunken sailor
  • Had Christmas at my parents’ house, fought with my mother (in a productive way), and made my father cry (in a nice way), which is the opposite of how things sometimes go
  • Shot pool with an old friend who is still dear to me despite his latest idiotic attempts at self-destruction
  • Saw the Tintin movie, which was awesome
  • Discovered that Tony Jaa is basically a human panther and could kill you with his elbows
  • Visited Sal, ate too much pizza, drank too much beer, learned a very small amount of very painful jiu jitsu, and managed to say goodbye without crying, much
  • Played “Kill, Screw, Marry”, which is not a nice game but there was champagne
  • Took my little brother to experience his first Kung Fu class and got to be vicariously adrenaline-drenched all over again

In short, I messed up my schedule, lost my emotional equilibrium, regained it again, and threw out my back, all in about a week! Whew! I’m so glad it’s time to go back to work.

Yeah, I could do that. If I wanted to.

21 Comments on “This is just to say…”

  1. Christine says:

    Glad to see that you’re back!

  2. Angel Pagano says:

    Mr. Gershom: By chance I received in the mail an article written by you called “After the Desert”. It came with other literature sent by Encourage who have been a great support system to me. I am a Mother, whose son at 40 years of age, was forced, ( because of certain circumstances) to declare his same sex attraction to the family. That was 12 years ago and I am still reeling over the confession. I am now 81 years old, a very good Catholic Italian and very protective of my family since I raised three children alone with the help of my mother. They are all in their 50″s now and when we get together the subject of his attraction is never broached. It is like the elephant in the room. He has an older brother who was devastated by the news and a sister one year younger who wants him happy, no matter what. I, on the other hand, am in limbo. I keep looking for answers from all sides. I read the article and you are very articulate and I soaked in all you said and yet I come away agreeing with you and disagreeing with you. But then I am a mother and I see it all differently than you or my son would.
    To this day, no one in our circle of friends and family know of his declaration. I choose to discuss it only with those I feel can help us come to some conclusion and whom I trust. Your article confuses me. I want answers and yet men, like you, skirt around the answer. From what I can get out of it, you sound as though you feel you were born “gay”. By the way I detest that word and try not to use it unless it is necessary. Nothing “gay” about what you all do. In my day it meant happy. When one says they are born gay, that is a slap in the face to we the mothers. We gave birth to you all and to suggest you were born that way makes me angry.
    I think my son was molested and by a priest who last year was removed because of his relations years ago with young boys.
    I think my son, who was heavy and girls were not attracted to him, was lead astray by this priest or another homosexual.
    Yes, I am angry and after 12 years of knowing about this, I am still angry. I raised my son to be married and have children and have someone in his life. How lonely he will be in his later years. You seem content with however you have decided to live while being alone. I commend you on this and I envy your contentment with where you are now.
    I am heart sick. I feel as if I am mourning a son who is still alive. He seems so unhappy. I am unhappy.
    You seem to have found answers and I am happy for you.
    You seem to be a smart, well versed young man who is spiritual and still devoted to the Catholic Church. I am very impressed.
    God Bless you.

    1. Lori says:

      My dear Angel, I am also a mother of grown children and my heart truly goes out to you. We have so many hopes and dreams and fears for our children, all wrapped up together.

      I am writing this to you not to hurt you, but in love, as something for you to ponder. Because as I read what you wrote, it appeared to me that you have taken much about your son, very personally – you’ve made it about you. “Your” hopes and dreams … “you” raised him to be married … the idea that he may have been born gay is a slap in the face to “you.”

      Honey, it isn’t about you. I know your heart aches for your child, but I hope you will be able to surrender him to God. Remember 1 Thessalonians 5:18 – “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

      Please don’t take this as an attack on you at all, but as a hard lesson I learned myself and want to share with you. I think God wants you to trust Him with your son. Please pray for him whatever God wills. I am praying for you; surrender is very difficult especially where our children are concerned, but it is also so very sweet.

      In His tender love,

      1. Angel says:

        Thank you for your input. I appreciate your comments.

    2. Dear Angel,

      Thank you for writing. I’ll be replying to you by email.


  3. Leila says:

    I’m so glad you loved Tintin! I grew up reading those comics, and so did my father and so did my children. 🙂

    Glad you had a great Christmas!

    1. Good stuff! I grew up on ’em too.

  4. Ron says:

    Welcome back, Steve!! Hope your New Year is off to a great start. And, Merry Christmas. For those readers of this blog who are not Catholic, the Christmas season in the Catholic Church ends with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, which will be celebrated this year on Monday, January 9.

  5. Rayjo says:

    Well, I don’t know about the season, but the feast ends with Epiphany, on January 6th.

    Steve, your mention of kung fu reminded me of Shaolin Soccer and how the main character was trying to market kung fu through various means (through cooking, song, etc.) before settling on soccer…so, what if catholics started doing kung fu to spread catholicism?

    Haha. I know, I know, we don’t need marketing, but it’s a funny image.

    1. I haven’t seen Shaolin Soccer (although I loved Kung Fu Hustle), but I’ve always thought that Catholics should be at least as cool as Shaolin monks.

  6. Dante says:

    Played “Kill, Screw, Marry”, which is not a nice game but there was champagne…

    Also sounds like an Italian-American courtship, but maybe with Sambucca as well as champagne. 🙂 Glad to are back and posting.

  7. Daniel Woike says:

    I enjoy your website Steve. I first heard you on Catholic Answers a little while back and enjoy reading your articles. Here is a article that I think you would like to read. It is how a group used Pope Benedict’s words to endorse something that he does not endorse.

  8. George says:

    Glad you’re back. I’m at the computer and trying to avoid surrendering into the ‘urge’. I’ll think it through and remind myself of how ’empty’ i feel post cyber cruising’

  9. Marcus says:

    Is sexual pleasure permissable merely as a side effect? For example, I enjoy massage in a therapeutic context for relaxation but it also is sexually pleasurable.

    1. I think a lot depends on the intention: are you going for the massage, or for the other reason, or for both? How necessary is massage to you, and is there a less dangerous way you can get the same benefits?

  10. Peter M says:

    Yep, I’ve always been a little regretful that there are no Catholic religious orders (anymore) that practice martial arts. I mean, I get why, but still, c’mon, how awesome would it be if there were some specific martial arts that only Benedictines practiced or something?

    1. Quick answer: EXTREMELY.

  11. WSquared says:

    Peter M: what, the weapons needed for spiritual combat aren’t good enough?


    But yeah, agreed with you and Steve: it would be extremely awesome! 😀

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, all!

  12. Annette says:

    Maybe the monks could use an “Iron Bible”

  13. Annette says:

    Finishing move: THE GREAT AMEN! And now you’ll be seized with giggles during the next Mass.

    You’re welcome.

  14. Marcus says:

    What is lust? There’s the universal-male tendency to want to feel blood roll-tide toward the penis, but is that lust? If you feel something in the genitals?  I’ve always thought of lust as more sight-oriented, as a feeling of wanting another body.  But that could be reductionist. The Catechism describes lust as sexual pleasure sought for itself. But now “sexual pleasure” – is that a euphemism for ejaculation?  Because the Catechism goes on to define masturbation as the “deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure.”  Does that mean even if you begin but don’t finish, it’s still masturbation? If you subsitute “orgasm” for “sexual pleasure”, then you have the generally accepted dictionary definition of masturbation.

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