Log in

No account? Create an account
Michael Killan
30 June 2006 @ 09:27 am
Well, I just decided to check over my own journal, and in doing so I discovered that back in November of 2005 I had made ten entries -- all on one day -- that were empty. (Well, they contained x's, apparently designed as placeholders.) Talk about feeling odd as I stared at these...

At first I couldn't imagine why I'd have done such a strange thing. Then I recalled that I'd planned to use each of these entries as a place to put up various links. You see, at that time I had a free account, which only allowed me to add five links to my journal. So doing this was basically a way around that restriction. (At the time I was also experimenting with ways to make navigation at LJ both easier and better.)

It no longer matters actually. I recently decided I'd make my blog the advertisement version here at LJ. (In fact, changing to that may be one of the only things I've done here during 2006.) Anyway, the change means I'm not limited to five links. (Though I'm not certain if there is some other limitation on the amount of links I can add.)

But it was still odd to come across ten entries that were full of x's and nothing more. Considering my mindset at that time, I had to briefly wonder if I'd done this as some odd emotional outlet. (Yes, I find that amusing.)

For the record, I don't really post much here that isn't available to all of my friends -- or that's entirely public.

So if you happen to see that I've posted on any given day, yet you can't read an entry, it probably means I was testing something that I wanted to post to one of my communities. This means I made a private post that only I could see, so that I could make sure an entry was displaying correctly before putting it at the community in question. (Do others do this, too? I guess I'm curious...)

Obviously I should delete such entries, but I don't always remember to do so. (I just came across one for l_j_for_dummies that had me confused for a moment -- until I remembered why I'd posted it inside my own journal.)

On another note, it's been my job to manage the 'dummy_maintain' (dummy_maintain) account, meant to be used by all of the maintainers at l_j_for_dummies. The problem is that I so infrequently even check my own email, so I'm terrible about checking the email for that account! I just discovered that Yahoo had made the account 'inactive.' (By the way, when you reactivate an Yahoo email, why do you have to go through the process twice? I'm rather annoyed by the redundancy. And as I'm always letting my account go inactive, I'm pretty familiar with this petty annoyance.)

Maybe I should put another maintainer in charge of the email account...

Back to investigating my blog, I guess. (I wonder what other interesting and confusing things I'll discover?)
Mood: amusedamused
Michael Killan
30 June 2006 @ 08:44 am
I'm stunned to discover that I haven't updated my journal since December. Half a year has literally flown by without a single entry.

While I've been busy sorting out my life and discovering exactly how tied I am to my spiritual needs, things appear to have been changing here at LJ. It looks as if I need to spend several hours trying to read and catch up.

Yes, I still long to be involved with various communities. I'd like to spend time on my art and in some way incorporate that effort into my journal. Not sure how, though. My previous artistic flair went into icons to some degree. That's about it.

I have spent some time reading blogs during 2006, though not here at LiveJournal. But I have become more familiar with the use of blogging as a communication tool. It's interesting to see how many political forces have gone into blogging!

I've never seemed to be able to quite make the transformation -- bringing my writing online. I've been willingly writing all my life, certainly. Yet somehow I don't seem to bring those many thoughts and observations to my own blog. (Funny how I've never even thought about my journal here as a blog, or writing in it as blogging. It's interesting that my research away from LJ has changed my perspective.)

Actually, time has gotten away from me this year. Though I've been involved in reasonable introspection, I haven't managed to reflect on my personal journey through writing. Not even writing of the non-blogging variety.

I feel as if it's finally time for me to make an effort here, as I'd planned back in December of 2005. Being on line has gained me some interesting friendships and interactions that I sincerely value.

For those who have asked, I have indeed continued a pattern of prayer as part of my lifestyle. This isn't strictly a case of not being able to teach an old dog new tricks. (Humor intentional, yes.) For me things simple flow better if I maintain a schedule that includes prayer.

I really need to expand on what I mean, for those who might be interested. (Or just for my own benefit, perhaps.) For the record, I've always favored structured prayer, rather than any loose-form meditation methods. Meditative prayer certainly should not be confused with meditation -- and decidedly not with meditation as practiced in Western society!

But don't get me wrong, I'm not opposed to the practice of meditation in whatever form. My questions circle around whether or not meditation is being used as a spiritual expression and action, as opposed to a non-spiritual one. (I've encountered quite a few people who meditate, yet are strongly anti-religious, for example.)

And in speaking of being anti-religious, I remain surprised by the extent men (by which I mean mankind) will go to in opposition to any given tenet. Is it really that much easier to damn a thing than to attempt to find something worthwhile to be in favor of? This might be worth exploring at greater length in another entry...
Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Michael Killan
24 November 2005 @ 07:13 pm
To those of you who reside in the United States, let me wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

I hope that all of you have much to be thankful for on this day. I know I do...

And one of the things I give thanks for are my on line friends, who have been so kind, so warm and so supportive during the time I've been here at LiveJournal. Old friends or new, I love you all. (And I'm speaking of 'old' as in how long I've known you, certainly not your age!)

I've been very happy and well-fed today -- and able to help with the feeding of others, less fortunate. I feel graced to be able to spread some goodness around.

My thoughts and prayers accompany this short message of holiday greeting -- going out to non-Americans as well as Americans.

Sorry it's been so long since I updated. I'm in the midst of my life adjustments and will share more later on that front!

I'm fascinated to see that the new community we're still in the middle of getting started is already drawing new members! (It's a community to help people better understand things here at LJ: l_j_for_dummies.) Actually, it's not quite ready to go, but if we can answer questions, that's a good thing!

Please be kind to yourselves today and every day. God bless you.
Mood: gratefulblessed
Michael Killan
31 October 2005 @ 01:55 pm
The following was gacked from shirasade. Feel free to share in your own journal. (I find myself FASCINATED by the 'questions' being asked here!

Bold all that apply to you:

You've ever sold drugs.
You've ever done any drugs, not including alcohol or cigarettes.
You still do any drugs, not including alcohol or cigarettes.
Someone you were close to was murdered.
Someone you were close to committed suicide.
You, or someone you were close with, has seriously thought about or attempted suicide.
(No, NOT me!)
You've stopped someone from committing suicide.
Someone else stopped you from committing suicide.

And Many, Many More HereCollapse )

You are a practicing member of any major organized religion.

I could easily write non-stop to explain the things I bolded. And I found it IMPOSSIBLE to do this without including explanation for many of them, as you see above...

The 'questions' are interesting, aren't they? And the wording is unusual (close family, for example). But I like memes that reveal more about people. I still love knowing others better. (I suppose that will always define me.)
Mood: curiouscurious
Michael Killan
31 October 2005 @ 01:19 pm
A very big Happy Birthday to PJ pj_grey! I hope you have a wonderful day.

Sorry for the mix-up about friend seraphimsigrist -- who didn't intentionally unfriend me. (Though I wouldn't have blamed him, seriously. I've been so inactive here for so long. And my lifestyle has changed rather drastically...)

Just for the record for friends old and new, I do spend a lot of my day in prayer. It's very much a pattern of my life.

But I also spend a lot of my day doing things far-less-usual for me. (I'll save some of my confessions for another post, I think.)

Along with Halloween (Halloween Greetings to all reading), today and tomorrow are part of a spiritual cycle for all of us... Tomorrow (November 1) is recognized in the Church as the Solemnity of All Saints. (Or by the old calendar as the Feast of All Saints.)

Tomorrow the Church celebrates all the saints -- canonized or beatified. And the multitude of those who are in heaven enjoying the beatific vision that are only known to God.

All SaintsCollapse )

Of course, don't get the Church started on Halloween, as I've mentioned before. And the Church's version of Samhain is... strongly colored. (That's my nice way of saying it's intentionally misrepresented!)

But that's the problem with those of us who are well-educated. We often end up finding that the Church --and church leaders throughout history -- have blatantly changed facts to suit Church purposes.

Anyway, I refuse to be anti-Halloween this year! (And Samhain should not be confused with Satanism. But that's another discussion!)
Mood: goodgood
Michael Killan
31 October 2005 @ 12:11 am
Something exciting to warm my day -- I have a new LJ friend...

Hello, celisnebula! How kind of you to friend me.

(I only just realized that one of my long-time LJ friends recently unfriended me. I'm guessing seraphimsigrist did so in light of my leaving my office as as priest... I always found his comments kindly and enlightening -- as I found his entries interesing. But all things come to an end in this life, I well know.)

I look forward to continuing to learn more about my new friends! And to hopefully growing closer to those people I've known for some time. (Those who still include me as a friend, that is.)

All Hallows Eve...

I had to actually create an icon in honor of the 'big' day. (Don't get me started on the whole Samhain, 'satanist,' negative bull-. I believe it's certainly harmless enough! And I loved Charlie's charliemc fanfic that featured Samhain -- and mentioned how people have twisted the original meaning!)

I need to dash around, read and comment now.

And early Happy Halloween to all who happen to read!
Mood: artisticartistic
Michael Killan
15 October 2005 @ 01:11 pm

Drabble Writers

Better Fanfic Development (BFD)
Mood: goodgood
Michael Killan
10 October 2005 @ 01:15 pm
Many THANKS to those people involved in compiling this for allowing me to share this in my blog.

Fandom Definitions:

Several moderators from Yahoo! Groups (and various blog communities) came together to create this list of fandom definitions. Anyone is welcome to use this at a given public forum (lists, blogs, boards, etc.). We only request one thing in return: PLEASE keep the entire document -- including beginning and ending (where the creators are mentioned) -- intact. Thanks.

We'd also appreciate being contacted if you're going to share it somewhere (but we don't require it): fandom_definitions@yahoo.com

[This version is dated June, 2005.]

Note: Not all fanfic or fandom-related words are included in this list. We welcome additions and corrections for future list versions: fandom_definitions@yahoo.com

[Feel free to share this list with others!]

Fandom DefinitionsCollapse ) Once Again, many THANKS to the following people for allowing me to share this here.

complied by:

Brian (brn_gamble)
Stuart (stuart_newyork)
Mistress Marilyn
Jimbo (jim_street)

[return to top of page]

Mood: thankfulthankful
Michael Killan
12 September 2005 @ 11:31 am
This probably isn't the place, but it certainly seems like the time, anyway.

I've been struggling with various aspects of my life for several years. Questions abound. Answers are just starting to come.

I've taken a leave of absence.

I have other friends who have departed the priesthood, so I have some idea of what might happen if I follow suit. And, happily, I have a support system.

The fault is not with the Church or with religion. But I don't believe the fault is mine, either. I suppose I'd say that I've ended up discovering I'm not compatible with this life-role.

I realize this doesn't explain the process. There's been a lot of searching and a lot of prayers and counsel before I made the decision to take some time away. While it's entirely possible I'll return to the priesthood, I'm leaving myself open at this point.

It's a big change to think of myself as Michael, the man, rather than Michael, the priest. I'm curious to see what it's like to walk in the world without the collar. (No, I don't always wear it literally, but it's always been there, even so.)

I hope my friends will continue to keep me in their prayers, though I've no doubt they will.
Mood: curiousintrospective
Michael Killan
12 September 2005 @ 11:18 am
I'm not really sure how this works, but I've been tagged to answer some questions by just_jimbo.

Because I'm currently asking and trying to answer many life questions, I found this quite appropriate...

Yes, Jim. I'll play.

Read more...Collapse )

I'll tag:

This was interesting and enjoyable. Thanks for the tag, Jim just_jimbo.
Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Michael Killan
31 March 2003 @ 01:22 pm
Yes, my birthday is just behind me. (Last weekend.) Another good time for personal reflection, I find.

Interesting -- isn't it? -- how we celebrate our birthdays?

Personally, I'm always hopeful we celebrate at least partly with attention to the One who allowed us to be born into this world -- and experience so much here. (Though I suspect most people find the day as another excuse for self-indulgence. Probably I'm no exception, though I try not to go there with too much extravagance. But to believe I don't fall into this folly is being self-deluding. At least I don't think I'm at fault there.)

Of course (of course?) I gave myself a (hopefully small) reprieve from serious Lenten practice on the Saturday before my birthday -- seeing as the actual day came on a Sunday this year.

I had (oops -- several) drinks with friends that day. Called and spoke to others close to me. Missed some who could not be reached via phone or internet. (In the past I served in areas that simply don't use the phone to any degree -- even in this modern age, amazing as that might seem to some.)

I spent part of Sunday in silent meditation. And even wrote a list of the ways I felt I'd changed in the past year. (A practice I try to keep on every birthday.)

My list wasn't long this year. I'm not sure if that's because I'm more settled now in my life role -- or possibly a sign that I didn't make quite enough effort for self-improvement between the ages of 37 and 38.

I do feel that growth is always possible -- and by this I mean positive change. But some years we grow less than others, I suppose. (God grant I grew as much as I truly needed to, anyway.)

In all honesty, I realized while making my list that I've been neglectful of my online friendships this past year. I've even let some lapse -- possibly past repair -- which is undoubtedly bad of me.

But in all honesty I do somethimes think that I've yet to quite get the feel of cyber relationships. It needs work, I guess.

I really do love the potential to know so many people I'd never encounter face to face. And to 'fine tune' my (written) words in a way that might not offend others -- while still managing to make myself clear about my personal thoughts and feelings.

Online communication is a struggle -- I freely admit it.

I find it's easy to confuse someone as to your intent. Or simple to hurt (or even anger) someone without meaning to.

I'm not suggesting that I don't have a pretty good temper myself when it's aroused (a flaw of my own character that is thankfully improving over the years -- with much effort). But I've been quite surprised in the past at how quickly some people I encounter online are spurred to outbursts of what appears to be actual fury. Yes, this does digress a bit -- but I sometimes have a tendency to ramble when I'm writing. Hopefully it's clear enough what I'm trying to express!

Of course, it's one thing to work at monitoring my actions so as not to offend or hurt. Yet I do have to use caution not to compromise my beliefs while being friendly and inoffensive. And more than my personal beliefs, I have to be careful not to compromise the Church. (That is far more of a challenge at times...)

I enjoy the process of aging. I know many people don't. But I do sense some small amount of wisdom creeping in along with the years (and random gray hairs). Each year has newly found delights. Actually, when I'm looking hard enough, this is true for each day.

I was delighted by how many of my friends (including online friends) were kind enough to take time to contact me on regarding my birthday, by the way. Thanks to each one of you! You bless me with your thoughtfulness and love.

I started this entry last week. You can see how time slides away from me. I need to work on that, I know.

During Lent I've found that prayer and meditation are the main reasons I've been neglectful. So I can hardly feel too bad about that. Still, I want to reach out to all who are close to me. And some can only be reached this way.

As I face another year of life, I look forward to the succor of my friends and the growth of my vocation.
Mood: goodblessed
Michael Killan
14 March 2003 @ 01:42 am
I've been giving some thought tonight to the subject of self-denial. Specifically, small self-denials.

[An aside: I started to say that I'd been 'contemplating' the subject. But ever since I began to read and study about contemplative prayer, I find I have a hard time using the word 'contemplate' without immediately applying it mentally to contemplation. (smile)]

I'm actually in favor of self-denial. Those who know me well might scoff (I can even hear it, frankly), but I do believe in it.

We live in a modern world where it's clearly out of fashion to ever willing deny ourselves anything. We want constant gratification.

More, we want instant gratification. We're not even willing to make the small concession of waiting to be gratified. (smile)

So I was thinking about various forms of small self-denials...

For example, it's common to have this expectation that we need the constant companionship -- and support -- of our fellow man. We have this need to be continually succored.

Again, I stress that this is an expectation. Because it is, we don't tend to fully appreciate the gift of human contact and interaction because we take it as a daily given.

We have need -- therefore someone else should be there to supply our need.

How incredibly selfish this is. How ridiculously unrealistic. In other words, we think the world should drop everything and run to satisfy our personal whims.

It might seem like a small thing. A truly small form of self-denial. But what if we were to accept the fact that we must be alone at times?

What if we were to accept this even during difficult times? What if we didn't automatically feel a need to seek the comfort of another person? What if we were to realize that we don't always need to share our personal burdens with others?

How often do we feel hurt or angry when someone close to us fails us in some small way? Suddenly they haven't been a good friend to us. We're selfish enough to believe they should always 'be there' for us.

It's natural, I suppose, for us to struggle with our focus in life. I imagine it is a given that each of us is -- at least to some degree -- the 'center' of our own universe. It's easy to see how we can become self-absorbed.

I'm no different, of course. I struggle and struggle with a desire to be closer to others. With wanting to simply have a conversation whenever I wish. With feeling a constant need to share myself -- and to have someone share themselves with me in return.

How difficult would it be for us to practice a form of self-denial? To say, "I'm ______ (fill in the blank: tired, sad, lonely, worried, etc.), but I'll suck it up. I'm going to offer this small self-denial to God." (Or if not to do it as an offering, to determine to do it for personal growth.)

I think it's healthy to try to view what might be the more mundane aspects of day-to-day life and attempt to apply self-denial in small doses.

Not every offering to the Lord has to be profound. Not every attempt at self-improvement needs to be a major life change.

[An aside: Again, this is in line with my belief that men and women often rise to the occasion when there's something large to tackle -- but they fail when there's less at stake...]

I think we often fail at change, for example, because we expect such big changes. I believe change is often best when it happens in small ways. A tiny change added to another tiny change.

I've continued to deal with my own tendency to be maudlin, for example. In the past I feel my moroseness has been a key factor in my erratic behaviors (which has including occasions of drinking to excess).

It's so easy to feel sorry for myself. To allow myself to feel depressed (for any number of reasons that I needn't enumerate here).

How much more difficult to embrace my small daily pains -- and find a way to rise above self-indulgence.

Prayer, certainly, is often a sure way to help overcome a tendency for self-centeredness. I continue to favor the concept of small dedications to the Lord: 'I felt anger at another and managed to avoid displaying it. (I offer this tiny moment of time and the denial of my self-interest to You, oh Lord.)'

Or, if one is not religious-minded, to practice this same restraint for the recognized good of personal growth -- another stepping stone on the road to maturity.

Small self-denials are plentiful if we're looking for them. They aren't news-worthy. They're not gold-plated. No one would be impressed if we made a list of these to share. They don't give us any huge sense of satisfaction to perform, either. Which might be why they're so easy to overlook or ignore...

But our smallest efforts matter to Him. And I believe they might even be more meaningful to each of us, in the long run.

How easy to practice self-denials during Lent. How much harder to practice self-denials every day of our lives...

We're goal-oriented. We like to set a goal and strive to reach it. We enjoy reaching the goal. We like the sense of satisfaction for a job well done.

I reflect like this constantly. But I want to make a greater effort to put these reflections down. I've neglected my writing...

I'd like to add more small self-denials into my daily life.

In denying myself, I'm better able to elevate Him.

In denying myself, I'm better able to put a focus on the needs of others.
Mood: contemplativeintrospective
Music: "Salve Regina"
Michael Killan
31 July 2001 @ 01:50 pm
Good question! Why am I here?

When I have an answer, I'll gladly share it with this journal (and all who may happen to read it).

"The idea occurred to me that, instead of excluding, I could include all my thoughts, ideas, plans, projects, worries, and concerns and make them into prayer." -Henri J.M. Nouwen

What a sentiment! Imagine it. Creating a prayer from all that is both good and bad in our lives. I'm going to comtemplate that one (while I go off and enjoy some fanfiction).
Mood: goodgood