I would have written sooner, but life got busy and – hey, look, it’s snowing! – I lost my train of thought. There were so many things about which I wanted to write but I wasn’t – I better get the Diet Pepsi out of my car before it explodes in the cold – able to focus.

No surprise: Of all the things that occurred while I wasn’t writing, the appointment of Bishop Donald J. Hying as the bishop of the Diocese of Gary was the least surprising. More on that here 

Grey area: Did I miscount or did the number of hand baskets headed for hell increase with the opening of “Fifty Shades of Grey”?

Open hearts, shut mouths, act upon what you hear: That’s my advice to Congress when it is addressed by Pope Francis on Thursday, Sept. 24. Imagine how much better our country would be if our elected representatives – especially the Catholics — were more Pope Francis-like in their words and actions?

Expect better preaching: It took 10 years, but the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments has published the Homiletic Directory that the 2005 and 2008 World Synod of Bishops requested of Pope Benedict. Among the directory’s points: “The homily is not catechetical instruction, even if catechesis is an important dimension of the homily … the homily should express the faith of the church and not simply the priest’s own story.”(CNS)

Picture this: The cutline we received with the Catholic News Service photo at left read: “Pope Francis gestures as he talks with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone before a meeting with cardinals and cardinals-designate in the synod hall at the Vatican Feb. 12,” but it lends itself to so many other possibilities, e.g., “Pope Francis describes final weeks of Brewers’ 2014 season…” I welcome your suggestions.

Love makes the world go ‘round: Happy Ferris Wheel Day tomorrow.