Friday, July 07, 2006

Billy Joel - Keeping The Faith


If it seems like I’ve been lost
In lets remember
If you think I’m feeling older
And missing my younger days
Oh, then you should have known
Me much better
Cause my past is something that never
Got in my way
Oh no

Still I would not be here now
If I never had the hunger
And I’m not ashamed to say
The wild boys were my friends
Oh
Cause I never felt the desire
Til their music set me on fire
And then I was saved, yeah
That’s why I’m keeping the faith
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Keeping the faith

We wore matador boots
Only flag brothers had them with the Cuban heel
Iridescent socks with the same color shirt
And a tight pair of chinos
Oh
I put on my shark skin jacket
You know the kind with the velvet collar
And ditty-bop shades
Oh yeah
I took a fresh pack of luckys
And a mint called sen-sen
My old mans trojans
And his old spice after shave
Oh
Combed my hair in a pompadour
Like the rest of the romeos wore
A permanent wave
Yeah
We were keeping the faith
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Keeping the faith

You can get just so much
From a good thing
You can linger too long
In your dreams
Say goodbye to the
Oldies but goodies
Cause the good ole days weren’t
Always good
And tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems

Learned stickball as a formal education
Lost a lot of fights
But it taught me how to lose o.k.
Oh
I heard about sex
But not enough
I found you could dance
And still look tough anyway
Oh yes I did
I found out a man ain’t just being macho
Ate an awful lot of late night drive-in food
Drank a lot of take-home pay
I thought I was the Duke of Earl
When I made it with a red-haired girl
In the Chevrolet
Oh yeah
We were keeping the faith
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Keeping the faith

You know the good ole days weren’t
Always good
And tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems

Now I told you my reasons
For the whole revival
Now I’m going outside to have
An ice cold beer in the shade
Oh
I’m going to listen to my 45s
Ain’t it wonderful to be alive
When the rock n roll plays
Yeah
When the memory stays
Yeah
I’m keeping the faith
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Keeping the faith
I’m keeping the faith
Yes I am
I’ve just been busy beyond belief the last several weeks, primarily with work. Not necessarily a bad thing, just a bit overwhelming at times. Although things haven’t really calmed down any, I feel that over the last week, I’ve begun to manage my time more efficiently at least. Far from what would be ideal, but a great start nonetheless.

Last weekend, Jimmy and I traveled to Kansas City, Missouri to attend one his close friend’s, Katie, wedding. Great trip all around. We ended up renting a car that had GPS in it, which was so convenient and absolutely awesome! For those who have never used such a device, it is just wonderful. You type in the address of where you’re wanting to go, or use the built in yellow pages if you don’t know the address… it will then calculate the directions to your destination based on where it finds you currently. Not only are the directions there, but the GPS unit physically speaks the direction to you as you drive telling you when to turn and what lane to be in. If by chance you miss a turn or something, it’ll quickly recalculate a new set of directions and get you back on course!

Jimmy had a great time seeing Katie once again, as I believe he hadn’t seen her in over a year. He actually ended up playing the piano at the wedding pretty much last minute. He did wonderfully. Very beautiful wedding… very well planned. Other than the best man almost fainting twice and accidentally setting a trash can on fire in the church, the wedding went completely according to plan.

The night before the wedding, Katie’s fiancé and soon to be husband Matt held a rehearsal dinner / outdoor party at his parents’ house about 40 minutes away. The party was pretty fun. I got to meet a lot of Jimmy’s / Katie’s friends that live up there. They’re all great!

Anyway, as Jimmy caught up more with his friends at the party, I went back to the table to eat some more (remember, I’m always hungry). As I ate, I was accompanied by the priest who was going to be conducting the wedding, Father Steve. He had just been recently ordained about 3 weeks prior, so this was going to be his first wedding as a priest. We chatted for about 45-60 minutes on just a multitude of things, primarily religion. He was thoroughly impressed with my knowledge about very specific matters relating to religion, Christianity, and Catholicism in general.

We talked about our histories with the church… turns out we actually had quite a bit in common. During college, he drifted away from the church altogether. He attended medical school and became a doctor. He hadn’t attended mass in over ten years. He said he felt something missing in his life, and decided to come back to the church. He later decided to attend seminary school to become a priest. We talked about my reasons for not attending church in so long, and also how I had recently come back. We discussed the various sacraments and such, and he asked when I had last gone to confession. I couldn’t do anything but laugh initially as it’s been years. I honestly think the last time I confessed my sins was when I was like 16 years old (10 years ago.) He offered to get to the church a bit early the next day prior to the wedding to hear my confession if I was up for it. I thought, what the hell, I really should.

Prior to actually going in for confession, I was trying to make sure I could think of as much stuff as I could in preparation. I turns out that I really didn’t have very many unique sins, just multiple instances of the same ones over and over and over and over again. I also came to realize that I had completely forgot the Act of Contrition, the prayer one prays right after confession to ask God for forgiveness and the piety to try to sin no more. Father Steve was more than happy to help me out with it… it actually started coming back to me as I began to recite it.

As he began to give me my penance he said it was going to be pretty hefty, to which I immediately freak out thinking it’s gonna be like 500+ prayers. It turned out not to be bad at all. Simply pray the rosary one time through to which ever mystery I wanted to focus on. He also said I didn’t have to do it immediately, such to get it done within a week… which was good since I didn’t know where my rosary was and needed to get a new one anyway.

Anyway, I can’t even describe how great I felt after the confession was over! I was absolutely shocked! The effect was completely overwhelming… I wasn’t prepared for this at all. I can’t remember feeling so free. I felt like I had the weight of the world off my shoulders. Everything was so clear! Even now, as I sit here typing this blog post, I’m completely aware that I have changed quite a bit over this last week due to that confession. Things that I once thought were important seem less significant, and things that I thought were once inconsequential are now very much important. This is definitely something I'm going to do on a weekly basis.

So, while I still don’t know what I ultimately want to do with life, I don’t feel burdened by that. I know that as long as I’m true to myself and to God, I will have the strength to do whatever it is that I’m meant to do.

I’ve even decided that I need to go ahead and receive the sacrament of confirmation. I’m actually glad that I didn’t receive this sacrament during high school as I would have really only been doing it at the time because I would have felt it expected. I simply would have been going through the motions… completely negating the true reason for confirmation. Now, as an adult making the decision to do this because it’s what I really want to do, it is much more meaningful for me.

So overall, I feel absolutely wonderful now that I’ve accepted a faith that I once set aside for vain and petty excuses. On a side note, this past Monday I went out to purchase a rosary so that I could complete my penance. I got one commemorating St. Patrick. Anyway, I've noticed that when I pray the rosary, I feel like my grandmother is right there with me more than ever... so this is now something I'm trying to do at least once a day.

10 comments:

Elemmaciltur said...

Great for you to have found your faith!

I'm no religious person...but maybe I'll find something later on in life. Right now, it's just not very important to me. :-)

Elemmaciltur said...

BTW, maybe you'd like to check out Fr. Roderick's podcasts on Star Quest Podcast Network (SQPN)...the one I listen to almost daily is Daily Breakfast. I think you'll like him.

Siren said...

Do you remember Mrs. Poe's scary story of her confirmation???

Anonymous said...

. Not only are the directions there, but the GPS unit physically speaks the direction to you as you drive telling you when to turn and what lane to be in.

Such devices will also repeat the instruction if you fail to follow it becoming increasingly narky until you do so.

Not only that but GPS systems seem to almost exclusively follow the American highway code... Okay, that may not be a problem for you, but it really isn't feasible (or legal for that matter) to do a U-turn on the M25!

On a side note, this past Monday I went out to purchase a rosary so that I could complete my penance. I got one commemorating St. Patrick.

The Catholic chaplaincy in Glasgow used to give rosaries out free... You could get glow in the dark ones - Very useful in a power-cut!

By quite some coincidence, on Monday I too acquired a rosary of sorts... Hindu prayer beads - there are 108 beads all together but whilst I perhaps have an inkling to click my way through them chanting "Aum Swaminarayan", I probably won't!

E
x

Frank said...

Elemmaciltur - Thanks man! You are awesome, like always. I'll definitely check these podcasts out!

Siren - Haha! That woman was just a nut so much of the time though, so I don't know if I can believe her story completely! :-P

Barlow - Not only that but GPS systems seem to almost exclusively follow the American highway code...

Haha! But of course. We have a lot of land to cover in the US. The UK is smaller that the state of Texas! Surely you have the entire map of the British Isles memorized by now! :-P

By quite some coincidence, on Monday I too acquired a rosary of sorts... Hindu prayer beads - there are 108 beads all together...

Very interesting. How is it you came into getting these? What are you supposed to do with them? Sounds extremely interesting!!! :-)

Anonymous said...

Surely you have the entire map of the British Isles memorized by now!

Bollocks to that! You're forgetting that we have smaller roads/buildings/people than you do in Texas, so there's more stuff in a smaller space! :p

Very interesting. How is it you came into getting these? What are you supposed to do with them? Sounds extremely interesting!!! :-)

Tres interessant indeed. I was given them in the Hindu Temple I was in on Monday. More on that when I get around to updating my LJ for the past fortnight!

Frank said...

People are smaller? What a shame!!! You just don't know what you're missing here in Texas, where everything is just plain bigger! :-P

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you Texans are compensating for something!

E
x

Frank said...

Haha... my poor Edward. How will you ever know for sure? :-P

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