Difficult People

October 9, 2021

Kill The Man With The Ball

During my seventh and eighth grade years at St. Mark’s Grade School, one of the games that the boys played during recess was “Kill the man with the ball.” The object of the game was to steal the ball from the person who had it, and then hold on to it as long as possible. The boy who had the ball was chased around the playground until someone was able to wrestle the ball from him. Sometimes there was a pileup of boys that occurred while they tried to push their way through to the ball. Whoever got the ball was then chased until someone else pried it out of his hands.

September 11, 2021

A Modern-Day Pharoah Orders Us Around

Her name is Victory Boyd. She’s 27 years old and she grew up in an African American, Christian family of nine children. She started singing with her family when she was four years old. I had never heard of her until I read an article that reported that she had been scheduled to sing the national anthem on September 9th at the National Football League’s (NFL’s) opening season game. The day before the game, the NFL cancelled her performance because she had not received the COVID-19 vaccination.

August 14, 2021

Catholic Girls and The Jerks They Date

Over the years, I have periodically written about when my six daughters were teenagers. During those years, I attempted to drive home the point that they needed to be careful not to let their guard down when they met a nice guy who appeared to have his act together. I did my best to persuade them to work at discovering the qualities and defects of the young men they met before developing a relationship with them.

July 31, 2021

Disposing of a Toxic Family Member

I have a client — I’ll call her Joanne — who is a devout Christian. Joanne periodically contacts me and asks for my opinion about a faith-based issue she is struggling with. She recently asked me if I think she has an obligation to assist her husband’s mother — I’ll call her Frances — with her basic personal, healthcare, and financial needs.

July 24, 2021

He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother

The year was 1969. I was 12 years old and I had a paper route, money in my pocket, and a radio on the nightstand that was next to my bed. Back then, the world I lived in was as close to paradise that a 12-year-old boy could get. Other than 8-track tape players in cars, the only way we could listen to prerecorded music was on a radio or a record player.

July 17, 2021

Six Grooms for Six Daughters

A few years ago, I did something that was very unusual. At my daughter Christine’s wedding reception, I got up and told our guests what my five requirements were for a man who wanted to marry one of my daughters. Before I share my five requirements with you, I need to give you some background information.

July 10, 2021

Sticks and Stones . . .

When I was in grade school during the 1960s, there was a common phrase that my classmates and I were encouraged to say when people called us names or said derogatory things to us:

July 3, 2021

Throwing Kindness and Charity Out the Window

In my last two articles, I wrote about experiences I had with people who some would argue deserve to be treated with contempt. While there were occasions in the past when I treated such people with contempt, I wrote that I now do my best to be as kind and charitable as possible to people who are less fortunate than I am or who are limited by their employers in what they can do for their customers, clients, or patients.

June 26, 2021

My Run-ins with Homeless People

I’ve written before about Fr. Clair Bourdereaux, a Franciscan priest who was assigned to Sacred Heart Church in downtown Peoria in 1976. He remained there for 19 years, until his death in January 1995. Fr. Clair had all the qualities of a great counselor. He was holy, smart, wise, gentle, diplomatic, compassionate, and understanding. He had the unique ability to connect with people on their level and set them on a path toward holiness and happiness.

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