Every day, I look in the mirror and am not sure I know the man looking back at me. He looks familiar. But his hair is grayer than I remember, his beard white instead of brown, the face a bit fleshier and showing some lines.
The man I see is older than I expect -- 51. I'm not sure I know him.
I never have been a big fan of winter. Give me 90 degree temperatures with a chance to wear shorts and a T-shirt rather than 20 degrees, layers of clothing and slick streets. I'll take baseball, walks to the ice cream shop and the smell of fresh-cut grass any time.
We all walk around with secrets. I'm not sure if I should thank God for that aspect of human nature.
Some of them are good secrets. They remain unspoken for a variety of reasons. Perhaps we're afraid people might think we are foolish or unreasonable for harboring thoughts of something we can never achieve or obtain.
Those secrets are called dreams. What would our lives be like without them?
In a recent conversation with a Protestant friend, I mentioned that we all are called to be saints.
"That's just too Catholic for me," she said.
Those words stung. What does "too Catholic" mean? Do people of our faith tradition give the impression to non-Catholics that we strive for something different than them? For that matter, do some so-called "lapsed Catholics" stop attending Mass and practicing the faith because they feel they have failed at something and therefore are unwelcome among the rest of us?
When my daughter Kara was a high school senior, she realized that her dream was to become a director on Broadway. It meant she would have to take a challenging college path. In the end, it came down to only one realistic choice: the University of Cincinnati's prestigious College Conservatory of Music.
Kara sought a spot in theater design and production, with a focus in stage management. Hundreds of young men and women applied. We knew that only a few would get in. The odds were long.
I prayed she would make it. I also prayed she could accept whatever happened.