People of the Resurrection...
The Great 100 Days – Lent, Holy Week, Triduum & Easter’s 50 Days – behind us, we are empowered, directed & inspired forward into the “Summer Ordinary Time” (counting weeks by whole numbers) and all the daily, weekly, moment-by-moment growth which this time invites. The many languages of the Petitions at Pentecost Masses got me thinking of “communication”; so a few things on that, please:
In my 1st four months here, I’ve received a lot of ‘feedback’, in various ways. I’m grateful & respectful for that. Sometimes, being an introvert, it’s been a bit overwhelming; but still, I’m grateful. A brief and honest face-to-face conversation after the 10:30 last week was a blessing, even though perhaps we didn’t resolve things completely. An un-signed letter – my first here – a few weeks ago, with both affirmation and disagreement, was a disappointment, and found its way quickly to the basket, as soon as I realized it was unsigned.
I’ve learned firsthand, and been coached by other pastoral ministers, not to read unsigned mail; so I don’t. I’m not presuming the intention was to be hurtful; but many times such letters can be very hurtful – regardless of the intention. Christian communication is honest, direct, responsible. I promise to try my best to be ‘open & non-defensed’ – whatever you have to bring to me, OK? Be welcome!
A quick decision my first day here, put the parish e-mail on my cell phone; had the result of all sorts of incoming, non-emergency messages and questions at all hours. Living in one room at the abbey it was burying me, frustrating me, winding me up, stealing my sleep and peace. At Morgan Lake in April, I decided to delete the parish e-mail from my cell phone; I’ll get non-emergency messages booting up my computer after morning Mass.
Both my numbers come up ‘first’ on our emergency, after-hours line; I’ll respond to emergencies, any time, any day, very gladly! That’s what the pastor has the responsibility & privilege to do!
Lastly, it being Memorial Day Weekend – a new language I’m learning to communicate with: “GODWINK”….gracious, perfectly timed ‘signs from God’ to reassure, comfort and lead us forward. Like Sunday evening, strolling past my Mom’s grave in St. Joe’s Cemetery in Appleton, enjoying the peace and a bag of popcorn from Mike’s Popcorn Wagon (Appleton’s ‘Uncle Mike’!) A cardinal drew closer to me and then flew off to perch in the red maple tree right over Mom’s grave.
‘Corny’, maybe? But it’s comforting too. God is so good that when we need reassurance, God provides. Once you learn to communicate in this language – it’s amazing how often it’s beautifully spoken in our daily lives! Another way that…
“God does bless us...EVERY one”!