Pastor’s Pen – June 26, 2011

Published on 26. Jun, 2011 by in Uncategorized

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This summer is not going well.

My home computer decided to quit working the Sunday morning after UMSL’s graduation, back in May.    Since I needed to ‘read’ the information on the computer, especially my calendar – as I had not been able to sync that information to my phone (that was apparently part of the ‘dying process’) – I did what I have done before in similar situations.  I hooked the hard drive up to a working computer at the Newman Center.  Unfortunately, that computer decided that it did not like the extra work and IT decided to stop working as well.  Two computers down in 4 days time.

Last Thursday the computer on my car decided to send mixed messages to my number 2 and 3 cylinders, causing the engine misfire, and making the engine warning light flash.  The dealership is not completely sure why this happened (and of course, they could not duplicate this in the shop…) so they flipped the controls for 2 & 3 with 1 & 4 and said:  “Let’s see what happens.”  Though that course of action makes sense, it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence and hope…

The good news is that these are just things.  Cars can be fixed or replaced.  Computers grow old and eventually stop working, but you can back up the files to external hard drives.  So in the grand scheme of life, these are just annoyances.

“But they are MY annoyances” that petty little voice inside my head tells me.  And that is where the summer can go bad quickly, in that moment when I make the choice about how I am going to interpret the data.  It is never the obvious “God is out to get me” that undoes me/us.  Most of us know better.  It is the more dangerous and subtle – “Does anyone really care or really notice?” that winds up pushing you in ways that are less than healthy and healing.

But I am glad for that voice, because it is easily recognizable amidst the din and hubbub of the day.  Once I recognize its petulance, I can laugh and relax and remember that God is in charge.  And I am reminded that these ARE just things, like the flowers of the field that whither and fade.  I am just passing through.  All that matters about me is held lovingly in the arms of God.

So my summer is not going well.  Thank God for that.  It is another reminder of the things that really matter, and Jesus’ invitation to seek first and only Kingdom of God.  “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be…”

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Pastor’s Pen – July 25, 2010

Published on 25. Jul, 2010 by in Pastor's Pen

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In good hands…

The busy stretch of summer began for me this week. It is busy good, but still busy. It started with a few days at the Kempf lake house, paying off a Dinner Dance item – a day on the water, skiing, tubing, etc. Repeat the same the next two days, except this time with the Newman Center students for “Fun in the Son.” I’ll be home long enough for weekend masses, and then off for a two day golf outing. I return long enough for some laundry and then off to Christian Family Camp for a few days. Return to change clothes and fly to Maine for a baptism of the second born for a couple I introduced, did their marriage and then first born’s baptism. Come back for a day and a half of work. And then back to Christian Family camp for the last three days of Week Two. They will be full days, but wonderful ones – the kind that make me realize how richly I have been blessed in this priesthood I share with our Lord.

What is tremendously satisfying to know is that I leave you all in very good, capable hands. I know I don’t acknowledge or thank them enough, but Pat Marstall and Eileen Engelmeyer do an amazing job running this parish. And make no mistake, run it they do. They are the glue to the day to day demands that keep it all together. Their dedication, enthusiasm for the parish and its parishioners; their patience (you need that too, in this job) and concern for each phone call, each visitor, each person who drops by is a wonderful thing to behold. They simply find a way to get it all done, with a grace that is exemplary. In your name, THANK YOU both for all you do…

It is also assuring to know that you are in good hands “sacramentally.” Fr. Emmanuel is a wonderful priest, and is very insightful when he speaks. It does take a bit to get used to English spoken with a French accent, but his inflection and intonation are delightful to listen to. He so makes me appreciate the complexities of our native tongue, and in wonderful usages of the English language makes me think about scripture in a different way.

And when he shares with me about life in the Congo, I am so grateful for the blessings of the simple things. Electricity. Running Water. Indoor toilets. Windows. Screens. Air – Conditioning. The things that you can overlook because they are so constant and reliable.

As YOU count your blessings these days, take a moment to thank God for all those simple gifts in your life that make a life such a gift…

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