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The Stretch Rambling

A handful of days to go. All kids are home except one, and we expect him to appear late tonight or tomorrow morning.

Relevant Radio's "The Inner Life" had a pretty good show on Tuesday (12/18/2018), giving practical spiritual advice for the holiday celebrations. The host and guest talked about all sorts of potential spiritual problems: forgiving a family grudge, resigning yourself to celebrations don't go as you envisioned them, being patient.

Fortunately, I have no grudges against or remotely bad feelings toward anyone that I'll be spending time with over the next two weeks, which I guess might be remarkable, given that I'll be seeing approximately 50 family members. Of course, 48 of them can't stand me, but hey, I'm at peace.

I do, however, suffer from a control streak, so I find myself exasperated when the celebrations don't go as I had planned. I've adopted a mantra this year: "Just let the holidays happen." I think it's going to help a lot. Until, of course, Marie DOESN'T PUT THE *&(#(*# CHRISTMAS EVE LINNER OUT UNTIL 2:03 EVEN THOUGH IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE READY AT 2:00!

If you don't listen to Econtalk, give it a try. It's all about economics, except when it's not. The host, Russ Roberts, is getting older and increasingly struggles with spiritual questions. It's fascinating and enlightening to hear him try to sort through them. I think he was a mildly conservative Jew all his life, concentrated more on the secular, but is now opening up to things like meditation. Last spring, he had a guest who explained to Russ how he had greatly calmed his life by adopting various mantras and repeating them to himself throughout the day. I immediately thought, "Ah, yes, The Jesus Prayer. Franny Glass. The Pilgrim. A Monk of the Eastern Church," but that doesn't fairly capture the different angles addressed by Russ and his guest.

Relevant Radio apparently cancelled the Joe Sikorra Show, which I thought was a real shame. Joe did what Benedict Groeschel did: combined the psychological with the spiritual. In fact, he was a mix of Groeschel and Guarendi: more lively than Benedict, but easier to take than Guarendi (I like Ray, btw, but his radio antics wear on me . . . different strokes), but I often found Joe more enlightening than Benedict and Ray. I think it was his choice of topics. He focused a lot on the inner life and psychological machinations that affect us, whether we know it or not.

Anyway, he's starting a new show on Facebook Live tonight. 8:00 EST. I'm gonna try to check it out.