<![CDATA[ Goodbooks Media - RondaView]]>Thu, 19 Apr 2018 12:35:25 -0500Weebly<![CDATA[New Page on Old Age]]>Thu, 19 Apr 2018 00:07:54 GMThttp://goodbooksmedia.com/rondaview/new-page-on-old-age
Here are some more thoughts about aging:

When I was a child most old people (anyone over 50) I thought of as sitting in rocking chairs on porches. Since I never liked rocking chairs, I didn’t think of them as parts of my own old age, even when it was upon me.
However, of late, I understand this better. Having been a work-a-holic most of my life, I now, as a retired person, when I sit outside my apartment dwelling waiting for rides I find it wonderful just to watch the goings-on around me, such as…
Across the wide Ocean Front street a company is fixing up a large house.  Every time I am out waiting for my ride I can watch their progress painting a long wall that guards the mansion from marauders.
I  like to gaze at the palm trees in the island between lanes on this same street.  The first time I saw palm trees when we lived in California I thought they were kind of silly compared to the great oaks of the Eastern country-side. But staring at them now I have come to see the charm of the wide palms blowing in the wind above the thin, thin, trunk.

Watching workers fixing a dam that was broken during the recent hurricane, I am fascinated to think what must be in the minds of these tough looking men whose daily tasks are so different than mine were in academe.
I like to read novels, autobiographies, and biographies about people who lived through WWI and WWII. It seems to me that I am wanting to take, as it were, a God’s  eye view of  history, before I leave this world.

Pet Peeve!
I have come to hate the word “just.”  Not, of course, when it is about justice, but in the slangy perpetual form of:
“Now, Ronda, it’s simple…JUST click on this, followed by that, followed by that, followed by that…and you will arrive at your goal on your nifty computer.”
Yeah, sure!  I added up 10 steps, most of which include references to things on the screen I have never touched, ever, ever, ever, and you pretend this is simple!!!!
“Now, Ronda, JUST follow the directions on the can, it’s simple.”
Yeah, sure! The directions are in tiny unreadable print. With my old weak hands I can’t push down hard enough to release the top of the can.”
“Now, Ronda, to take a cat on the airplane isn’t that hard. JUST get sleeping meds for the cat from the vet, and put the cat in a carrier.”
Yeah, sure!  I don’t drive. So, to get to the vet I have to ask one of  my wonderful, benevolent volunteer drivers to waste a whole morning schlepping me to the vet, and then, since cat’s don’t have medicare, paying a fee just to get a tiny jar of liquid sleeping meds…and then try to keep the cat still while holding open its fierce jaws, to pour these meds down her throat…and try to fit me, my carry-on-bag, and the cat carrier into a wheel chair where sometimes the wheel-chair attendants JUST don’t show up…”

The rage at how knowledgeable, practical people, younger people try to cajole me into accepting impossible tasks leads, of course, to Confession once a week for yelling at the very dear people who are trying to help me!
Deep sigh! 
What do you suggest I should JUST do in such situations???? 
<![CDATA[Staging AGING]]>Fri, 13 Apr 2018 01:14:23 GMThttp://goodbooksmedia.com/rondaview/staging-agingI want to devote these blogs to thoughts about aging.
One of the things I notice, since retirement, is that having much more time, I also obsess about trifles, much, much, much more.
Remedies include these:
Deliverance prayer such as “I rebuke the spirit of excessive anxiety about whether to sweep the floor, or check the web news, and lay it  at your feet, dear Jesus, take it away."
With more important but relatively trifling things: “I surrender to you, Jesus, my future on earth, whether it be lived in this place or another place.”
Jesus  tells me to stop dog paddling in the waves of life and let Him float me to the shore of eternity.
And, that what counts at this time of life is not what I do each day, or plan for tomorrow on earth, but only to be closer to Him, so I can be a greater instrument of love to everyone I encounter.  
On a more natural level, I do better when I stop and appreciate in detail every good sensory phenomenon on my horizon such as the orange fur of my cat, or a beautiful  melody in a song.
These sensory experiences are a balance to a long life of professional philosophical analysis as a professor and writer    
My family has a chat where we put up quick silly limerick type poems.
​ I put up this:

81 Year Old Hag’s Song
Flee, flee, flee,
to the bosom
of the family;
to the bosom of those
who without me wouldn’t be?

Where plentiful delicious
food and drink
there be,
and also tender care of

But bosom rhymes
a bit with thumb!
Under whose thumbs
do I really want to be?

Ah, take the joy,
the pain,
the love,
I, Jesus,
will take you
to the Trinity! 
<![CDATA[BACK AGAIN!]]>Wed, 04 Apr 2018 18:55:07 GMThttp://goodbooksmedia.com/rondaview/back-again

Six months ago I put my Blog, RondaView, on hiatus.  I was feeling tired of my own thoughts.
This one will be written during each week and put up on Fridays. The web-master says that there are wonderful old entries on RondaView you might like to check out if you are a newcomer.
Let me begin this new start with an account of “where I am at.”
After the hiatus I am still in beautiful warm Corpus Christi, Texas, at a wonderful parish I have described before.  I volunteer some in the office and setting up Adoration. At 80 I like to do small things that are easy and that help good places.
Since my last blog in January, 2017, I went through all my journals of more than 20 years editing them to remove things that might hurt people.  Since my autobiography is called En Route to Eternity, written when I was about 55, and at 40 I called myself ½ Way to Eternity, I am calling these journals 6 Toes in Eternity. One of my publishers, En Route Books and Media, has them up for free under the section called Free Downloads. You might find some of the things in 6 Toes in Eternity helpful spiritually; others just funny.
Upcoming on this web, goodbooksmedia, you will find a notice of a new booklet that I started on RondaView before the hiatus: this one is called 9 Toes in Eternity and it consists in what I consider to be my best short thoughts in my whole Catholic life from 21-80!  It will become a booklet soon, published by goodbooksmedia with delightful graphics. My hope is that people who like my stuff can have this short, short, booklet to give to friends and family who may not want to read even a small book and, certainly not a long book of mine!
Since arriving in Corpus Christi, January 2017, I wrote a book with Al Hughes, a pastoral counselor and spiritual director, called Escaping Anxiety on the Road to Spiritual Joy.  This book came about in this manner.  Arriving here in Corpus Christi at age 79, I had become a little better at anger. This was after more than 20 years of anger management with the system of Abraham Low, founder of Recovery, Intl., not 12 step.
However, I found that retirement after some 50 years of teaching was much harder than I thought it would be. When I left teaching at Holy Apostles College and Seminary, I quipped to my last class, “you are the last people who ever have to obey me!”
So, when I arrived in Corpus Christi,  Texas, I renewed contact with my old friend Al Hughes, a widower and retired Lieutenant Air Force Colonel. Since being in a writer’s group of mine 15 years ago he had written several books, published by goodbooksmedia. Check them out on this web-site.
Al noticed how anxious I was! Since he is a spiritual director, I asked him to help me. This morphed into a book called Escaping Anxiety on the Road to Spiritual Joy. People who have read it find it very helpful. Check out the description on my web-site www.rondachervin.com under the gyrating link called New Content.
Now, what am I thinking about day by day since the hiatus on this Blog?
Mostly I think about problems of aging in the context of our faith.  Even though I wrote a book about the Joys and Sufferings of Aging when I was 60, at 80 there are many other aspects!  Any of you who are 80 know that the period between 70 and 80 years old is just as difficult as other famous decades described by such joyful titles as mid-life crisis or sixty’s crisis!
So, I am now thinking that part of my remaining life will be communicating thoughts from my ‘80’s by means of this blog.
Here is an example:  There can be quite a long period between being averagely competent and being technically demented!  Each new type of senior moment can be startling.
My worst was walking out of my dorm room at the seminary with a poncho not covering my jumper, but only my slip!
But other incidents, now, such as turning on the faucet to fill up the large kitchen sink…walking away…and coming back 15 minutes later to a flood, are also disconcerting.
Then comes all these thoughts about moving to assisted living.  But, since one of my favorite mentors quipped that every utopia becomes a gulag, I worry that even Catholic assisted living places could turn out to be disappointing.
Jesus seems to tell me that it doesn’t matter where I live now. What matters is that I let Him draw closer to my heart so that He can prepare me for eternal life. Just hold My hand tighter.
More as I continue to slide down the slippery slope.
By the way, Jim Ridley, my wonderful web-master, does forward to me comments some of you make on the blog-board. I can’t go on by myself to respond to these, but if you very much want to exchange ideas with me, you can write me an e-mail at chervinronda@gmail.com.  Often I only write back 1 line or so because, as my favorite sentence goes “I am 80 years old and I no longer can – x, y, or z.”  If I wrote a whole book on the subject of your e-mail I will refer you to that book and say, after you read my best thoughts if you have questions, write me again.  Why repeat in 3 pages of clumsy sentences what I wrote well 30 years ago???
Let us pray for one another!  Yes!

Here is another reflection about old age:

When I was a new convert and age 23, I was brought to see an old dying holy woman.  Her name was Marguerite Solbrig and she was the founder of a lay community of whom Dietrich Von Hildebrand, my professor, was the most well-known member.
I only saw her for 10 minutes. There was a bed with covers and all I could see was the face of this woman. Her large brown eyes were glowing with mingled suffering and joy as she looked at me with love. 
I will never forget that look.
Now, at an age closer to hers, I am thinking: “We shouldn’t think that our life on earth is over if we can’t do our usual work in the world or and Church.  With one look of love, if we truly live in the depth of the heart of Jesus, we could do something intensely meaningful for another person.”
<![CDATA[HIATUS]]>Wed, 27 Sep 2017 02:21:01 GMThttp://goodbooksmedia.com/rondaview/hiatus
Dear Readers of my Blog,
At age 80 now, I have decided to make a hiatus of making blog entries.
Why?  You will be surprised to hear that I am actually tired of my own ideas!!!!  I want to try to spend more time in contemplative prayer and less on finding “perfect” words to express my thoughts.
Maybe, you will feel sad and think you are losing me.  If so, here are some remedies:
-        Write me e-mails at chervinronda@gmail.com.  I have plenty of time to answer individual e-mails – but none of those things you forward to many addresses.
-        Listen to WCATradio programs I am on.  One is RondaView every Sunday at 5 PM EST.  Go to WCATradio.com and click on programs to find them. I am also on an interesting panel called Open Door on Fridays at 11 AM EST.
-        Read newer titles of books I’ve written that can be found on this web – goodbooksmedia.  9 Toes will become a book you can buy from goodbooks media in the next few months – cheap on kindle or nook.  Or, I have lots of titles you may not have read yet on enroutebooksandmedia.com.
God bless you, dear readers. Of course, I may wake up one day soon and think “I need to revive my blog again.”  In case this happens, check goodbooksmedia blogs RondaView to see.
<![CDATA[While Recovering from the Storm]]>Mon, 11 Sep 2017 20:01:54 GMThttp://goodbooksmedia.com/rondaview/while-recovering-from-the-storm
September 8, 2017
I am reading a delightful book.  It is called Winter Wheat: God Is Simple by Armond Nirdlinger.  This writer was an atheist scientist.  He became a Catholic at 66 partly based on all  kind of scientific facts that seemed to him to prove the absolute necessity of an intelligent Creator God…but also little published research into matters such as the finding of chariots deeply buried in the Reed (Red) Sea.  
Here are some quotations from Winter Wheat to interest you in getting hold of this book – perhaps to give to atheists or agnostics or lapsed Catholics.
About hidden doubts even of believers, he writes:
​“I read “where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them” …subliminally, the skeptical voice would prevent the verse from bringing inspiration, joy and peace to my heart. I would be recalling examples (real or not where the promise had not come through…In Nazi Germany, if Adolf was delivering one of his speeches and you didn’t give an enthusiastic ‘Heil’ at the appropriate time, the Gestapo would haul you off to the firing squad. …However, I am the Fuhrer of my mind and soul.  If I detect grumbling, sarcasm and skepticism going on, as soon as I become aware of it I am going to drag the culprit front and center and if there is no excuse for my behavior, annihilation!...This purification process will help to enliven the Gospel for us.”

And this:
​"I am like a well-loved pet dog - I know my master (Jesus) loves me and so I am content, but it's like I'm lying outside the closed door to the kitchen and I can smell the most delicious smells coming out. I would love to have some of what is being cooked, but it's not meant for dogs. Occasionally I get to lick the plates."

My next blog will continue Jim Ridley’s illustrations of my 9 Toes in Eternity collection.
<![CDATA[Midst the harrowing horrors of Hurricane Harvey...]]>Wed, 30 Aug 2017 01:35:34 GMThttp://goodbooksmedia.com/rondaview/midst-the-harrowing-horrors-of-hurricane-harvey
From the prophet Zephaniah:
A shout will be raised from the Fish Gate,
from the town, howls...
a day of distress and agony,
a day of ruin and devastation,
a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of cloud and blackness...

From Psalm 17:
The waves of death flooded round me,
the torrents of Belial tossed me about,
the cords of the underworld wound round me,
death’s traps opened before me.
In my distress I called on the Lord,
I cried out to my God:
from his temple he heard my voice,
my cry to him came to his ears.
The depths of the oceans were laid bare,
the foundations of the globe were revealed,
at the sound of your anger, O Lord,
 at the onset of the gale of your wrath.
He reached from on high and took me up,
 he lifted me from the many waters.

Assúmpsit me de aquis multis.
But the ghost of the storm still haunts;
so Ronda'll be blogged down for the nonce.

<![CDATA[9 Toes: Full Fathom 5]]>Wed, 09 Aug 2017 16:23:13 GMThttp://goodbooksmedia.com/rondaview/9-toes-full-fathom-5
Wondering what heaven will be like; think of the most joyful moment of your life on earth and multiple by a million.

​Don’t let negatives states of mind become like quicksand; instead immediate pray “Deliver me from the bad spirit of _____________(anxiety, anger, whichever) I lay it at Your feet, dear Jesus, take it away.

​Into your Heart,  Jesus, I surrender my future.
<![CDATA[Absent no more]]>Tue, 08 Aug 2017 18:46:25 GMThttp://goodbooksmedia.com/rondaview/absent-no-more
I was away for a week visiting my daughter, Carla, in North Carolina, where she is going into hospice home care for what seems like terminal cancer.
We are all struggling with so many conflicting feelings.  She finds it unbearably hard to think of leaving all those she loves so much.
Here are words she has sent me since my return to Corpus Christi:

We don’t know that today is the first day of the rest of our lives.
There are too many
permutations available.
Nor is NOW everything,
as previously thought.
No, today the questions seems
​and within that
​all the answers.
This image came to me in the night. 
I thought it could be universalized as an image others could focus on
in similar situations: 
you are taking us
with you,
in your heart,
into the heart of Jesus,
where we will one day
Together Forever.

I am considering compiling a collection of such word-pictures
as the TOGETHER FOREVER verse above.
​Here is my plan:
​Contemporary Catholics

Ronda Chervin

I love it when a speaker or writer comes up with an image the perfectly expresses
​an idea or an experience.

Scripture is full of such images from being “raised up on eagle’s wings” to “the pearl of great price.” So are the writings of the saints.  But you readers are all familiar with these.  How about fresh images from contemporaries of lesser fame?

Images of Grace is a compilation of such word-pictures from
​the talks and writings of such 21
st Century Catholics,
illustrated by one of my favorite graphic artists, James Ridley, of goodbooksmedia.  

An example would be the 'Together Forever' image above.

If you have any you like e-mail them to me at 

<![CDATA[9 Toes Step 4th]]>Mon, 17 Jul 2017 19:02:37 GMThttp://goodbooksmedia.com/rondaview/9-toes-step-4th
Mother Mary, when my heart beats too loud, fold me in your cloak and hide me from the world.

I run my heart over the ridged braille of reality until I see Your face, my God.

I cross the rapids of resentment on the sturdy boat of forgiveness.

Floating out to sea on a raft of Your love – what is Your will, my Lord – that I come further, further out or that I swim against the tide, back to shore?

God peeping through the lattices of my day whispers in my ear, "What, did you think I couldn’t find you unless you were out looking for Me?"

There is an ontological abyss between me and my cat, but I can still love him and forgive him if he scratches me; so can God love us and forgive us.

If they showed a movie of your life in heaven, what would be the greatest graces?

The absence of annoyance is not joy, you will realize when you lose family members to moving away from your location or the earth.

I lay me down in the grave of time and cry out eternity!

If all the worldly is but nothing, shall I not ask a littler share?

Flow into God empty handed; that is to be poor in spirit.

<![CDATA[Soaking 9 Toes in Salt Water]]>Mon, 03 Jul 2017 15:52:22 GMThttp://goodbooksmedia.com/rondaview/soaking-9-toes-in-salt-waterOn this July 2 blog, you will mostly be reading from 9 Toes in Eternity
as illustrated and annotated by Jim Ridley.

But I will sprinkle in anything spectacularly newsworthy or beautiful
(if told me allegedly by supernatural beings.)

 So, today is my first day at my new dwelling.  It is in Corpus Christi and it is an apartment in a large complex right on the Bay…especially chosen because it is just 2 blocks from an adoration chapel of a group of Philippino Sisters. 12 Hours a day.  I am hoping this will usher in a more peaceful, contemplative, life for frentic Ronda.
​Of course, being me, I got everything on the walls and in the right place
by the end of the move day.

Now it looks like my little room at Holy Apostles, except larger.
Now here is what Jesus seemed to tell me:
"I am lonely. 
So many don’t want me close.
I want to live in you. 
Adoration of Me in the Eucharistic chapel will open you to Me even more. 
Be more silent.

I am camouflaged in the faces of those who give you their love, even though
they see your flaws…cherish them, cherish your Eternal lover."

If you feel old and ugly when you look in the mirror don’t think “every day in every way I look less like Marilyn Monroe or Clark Gable," think every day in every way I look more like Mother Teresa or John Paul II.

When grieving about the loss of loved ones who have left this earth, keep your eyes open just the same to see who God is sending to fill up the hole in your heart.

Lord, lay Your hand on me and unfurrow my soul’s brow.

If you think you are the hero/ine of the drama of life and others are just secondary characters or cameos to enhance your show, you will be angry and disappointed most of your days on earth.

Not all surprises are negative, so don’t be pessimistic.

If I am too “busy and troubled about many things,” I don’t let Jesus into my heart enough to comfort me.

When check-mated by life, we see more clearly that we need Jesus not only as a model but as a savior.