The more I know, the more I know that I don’t know. Or put more clearly, the older I get, the more I realize how little I know! It is not that I am not trying to learn but the more I learn the more I realize how little I really know. That is as true especially in spiritual matters. So much happens in the spiritual realm that I cannot explain or do not understand. Yet people come to me expecting answers, clear definite answers. I find myself offering reflections, experiences, and my own stories but they are not answers to their difficult and complex questions. I often feel inept when I try to address so many concerns from so many. Yet in the middle of all of this there is a new confidence. Not a confidence in my answers but a confidence in God’s presence and love ever abiding.
I know you have heard me say this before but even though I understand God less, I have come to love God more. It is not the lack of knowledge that helps me but the acceptance that God’s ways are not mine. Put another way, life has humbled me more than a few times. Maybe even humiliated me more than once. Yet, I feel and experience God’s presence more than ever. I suppose we call this “faith” but I believe it is the seed of faith, humility and I begin to water that seed and see it grow.
Sometimes, I yearn for the clarity of my youth when I knew so much, and I was so sure of everything I knew. There was a certain confidence in everything I knew but it was misplaced. After all, I really did not know that much. How could I? I was still so young! My parents were the great arbitrators of wisdom for me, especially my dad. He would patiently put up with my confidence (sometimes arrogance) and smile gently and say, “I disagree. We’ll see, life will teach you what is right. God has a way of helping us to learn in our time.” And he would never come back and say, “I told you so.” But gently ask what I learned from the experience. He never let me wallow but challenged me to see the lesson hidden in every hurt, wound or misfortune. He would say, “In every dark cloud, there is a silver lining. Look carefully till you see it. It is there and God will help you name it if you allow him.”
I yearn to be that patient. I yearn to be that kind. I yearn for the humility to be that gentle with myself, with others and most especially with God. In these days of my life, I wonder if we could foster more humility before God and before each other, what would the world be like! I pray and hope that we as a community can at least desire some more of those seeds of faith called humility and let them grow into patience, kindness, and gentleness. Oh, how the world would be so different! Can we promise to plant those seeds of humility in our own hearts and in the hearts of our children. May we not seek so much to be right but to be patient, kind, and gentle. I truly believe we need community to help us to gather these seeds of faith because it is in community faith grows. We need community. Please try to come to Church and build our community back to pre-pandemic strength. I know many of us have gotten out of the habit of coming to Sunday Mass but it is worth the effort to re-establish that habit. We miss seeing you and we need you in our community. We have added musical elements to every Mass and they all sound wonderful. Come, listen and see.
This weekend we have donuts at all the Sunday morning Masses and snacks at the evening Masses. I encourage you to come and allow some time to mingle for a few minutes with other parishioners. We need each other in good times and in tougher times. Speaking of good times, I invite you to sign up for our Parish BBQ on Saturday, September 10 at 6pm, following 5pm Mass. It’s going to be a wonderful time with delicious catered food, music with John Angotti & friends, and a DJ so put on your boots or dancing shoes and bring all the family, invite your friends and reach out to someone you know that has been having a tough time and meet them at the BBQ. This is how we build community!Let’s be humble enough to acknowledge we need each other now and always. Finally, this weekend we bless our Catechists for our Children’s Faith Formation programs. Join us to bless and pray for those who have offered themselves as catechists for our Parish. May God strengthen their gifts that they may teach by word and by example of God’s love.