Yeah...this post is going to be a lot like that.
But he loved people and so wanted to trust, so I worked with that and helped him out of his shell just by providing some stability and basic kindness. In other words; I treated him like a beloved pet dog.
You will be joyful to know that he was adopted on Wednesday and went home to his perfect match, a person who understands the timid temperament, the Whippet personality, the pitbull face complete with big soft brown eyes, and therefore is happier now than he's ever been in his life. Another success!
I will indeed foster again, God willing, but for now my dog needs a bit of bonding time before she will be ready to welcome another beloved guest into our home!
Over time, I've obtained readers from other nations, which is wonderful - it really reveals the universality of the Church and makes our world seem so much smaller. To be able to "meet" other Catholics or people of others beliefs from around the world is really a gift to be cherished, for we find out together how much we have in common in spite of our respective political systems. Truly, we are revealed as Citizens of Heaven, making our civil lives in the secular venues of our countries, knowing that it is Christ we bring to our own nations. In the words of Blessed John Paul II, paraphrased, it is our ability to bring Christ to our nations that makes the world more human and more fraternal.
I am very glad to see Pope Benedict XVI embrace the benefits of our online networking and encourage us to use it to preach salvation to the world by whatever means and gifts we have to do so...all at our fingertips.
What saddens me, though, is that here in the United States, even given the "melting pot" that we are, we do not have the opportunity to study many languages. Most commonly the schools offer Spanish and German, never Latin, and I've never seen Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Aramaic, Madingo, Swahili, Swedish, Norwegian, etc...in any school that is not specialized. Yet continuously, and increasingly, I find that people who primarily speak these languages follow my blog. My guess is that is because they have had the benefit of studying English (dubious benefit, that is.)
Although I can speak and read Spanish, over the years it has become very very rusty so I labor through even the simplest Spanish-language articles and blogs. Google DOES have a translator, but as I am still on dialup (stop laughing!), often the translation does not work for me and so I am left wondering if it will ever be possible for me to follow-back those readers.
So, therefore, let this serve as an acknowledgement to those of you who follow me and understand; It isn't that I don't love you, it is only that I cannot understand and respond in kind! :-( God bless you in your own blog apostolates and thank you for bringing Christ to the world!
A mis amigos hispanohablantes: Dios te bendiga, siempre, por tu servicio para Jesu Christe!
*cringing at badly-written Spanish*
So, moving on....
There are many kinds of trolls. Most of them comment anonymously just to try to start a fight. But there's another breed, one far more dangerous, that consists, typically, of people who land upon one's blog and either decides to comment anonymously under the guise of "compassion" or send a private email. Both the comment and email ALWAYS end with "Please seek help".
What amazes me judiciously is how many of these emails and comments go directly to my Spam folder, so I don't discover them for days or weeks. You see...every now and again I check the Spam filter to see if a gem was caught in the drain before I purge the whole thing with bleach and gloves. Sometimes I find legitimate emails and immediately correct the problem.
Other times I see a name and then the first line, which gmail courteously provides, and from there can often make a judgment on the remainder of the content.
It has been my experience over the years that every time I write about a particularly difficult period in my spiritual life, some pseudo-intellectual seriously malformed by the dominant atheistic philosophy and psychology of our age presumes to try to "diagnose" me. The pattern never fails, and so it's quite possible this particular type of Troll is exactly the same person who has decided to harass me over the years. More likely each and every time it is a different malformed soul as they continuously base their "diagnosis" upon one post only and claim it is "all over your blog."
The most recent one I received in my spam filter started out like all the others: "It's probably none of my business but..."
That's all I needed to see
You see, I know this type of email and it's always the same. They all start out by saying "It's probably none of my business but...you DID write it on your blog."
Well, that settles it. If I write it on my blog, clearly I have a diagnosis of...something you've recently read about. By all means, in that case you are clearly qualified to tell me I'm depressed, bipolar, schizophrenic, borderline personality, have dysthymia, autism spectrum, or other Axis I or Axis II disorders. Or even Axis III!
What amuses me so much about this is that it's unethical at best to make such comments, and extremely harmful at worst especially in a person who may be very...uh...gullible and given to hypochondria. Therefore, as much as it amuses me that some joker thinks they can go around and base a diagnostic opinion of a blogger on the basis of ONE post about spiritual trials (much like the misunderstanding that took place when Bl. Mother Teresa's diaries were released to the public), it also pains me as I wonder what very real harm this presumptuous pop-psych troll may be doing to someone.
I pray to God they aren't actually working professionally in the psychological field. Even on the peripheral.
So it is when I see the opening line of some emails (usually and providentially caught in the spam filter), I delete them without reading and say a prayer for the person who sent it. No matter how bad my life might get sometimes, my hope is in Christ and therefore always present. I get the sense that these other souls have misplaced their faith in mere psychology, finding solace in the superficial guidance of self-help and unnecessary medication, for fear that one day they may actually experience sadness or real emotion, realizing that in this life, we all actually MUST suffer at some point - and it's not the end of the world.
If you find yourself either starting an email or composing an email containing this phrase: "This is probably none of my business but..." STOP! You're right; you know it's none of your business so write what you have to write to get it out of your system, then use the DELETE button liberally. If that is seriously how you are starting an email, you are WAY out of line and you know it.
Just because someone says it on their blog doesn't mean you're privy to the entire story and you certainly aren't qualified to venture into the territory your own conscience is trying to warn you away from.
And just so you're aware: I need this advice as much as "you" do, whoever "you" are. (Not picking on regular readers here - you are all dears who do all your presuming in public where it can be discussed with everyone else!) lol :-)
So there ya have it - the mishmash from my intellect.
Now, if you don't mind, I'm taking my Swedish-Irish-French self into the kitchen to cook spicy-garlic tandoori chicken which has been marinating next to the homemade Greek cucumber yogurt sauce and Israeli couscous parked next to the hummus tahini and pitas just waiting to see if this Indian-Greek-Israeli-Middle Eastern dinner tastes good at all!
Who wants leftovers?