Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Where Have I Been?

Dear Friends,

Honestly, I have no idea what has kept me so busy since the summertime, that I have not been able to find a few minutes for a weekly reflection. As I think about all that has happened in our lives, in our parish, in our world since June, it is overwhelming.

Where have I been? While I'm tempted to say: "at work"! I must admit I blew the budget this year on two very special vacations: a week long cruise with the family, a chance to be with the nieces and nephew with little or no cell phone reception. What an amazing week to discover again why those kids are so absolutely amazing to me. Now that half of them are away at college I realize more than ever how important they are to me. I am so excited to see how they will grow through their college experiences.

The second vacation was a trip to England and Ireland with some friends. A chance to visit a land I have always heard about, dreamed about and absolutely loved seeing with my own eyes. I am grateful for the chance to relax and discover more of the beauty in the world around me.

I must acknowledge too, that being in this parish, St Francis de Sales is always, always such a treat. People here really are so good to be with. I love my Sundays on the porch greeting folks for Mass. As I get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving, I am so grateful for this parish, my family, my friends.

The world has changed a lot since the summer. The elections are finally over and we begin to move on. I can't remember a time when emotions over an election have been so deeply felt. It saddens me to see a map of this country that looks so divided. How did we get to this place where we can't listen to one another? I have found the quality of my prayer has changed dramatically of late. On Thursday, at church, when we sing America the Beautiful, I think there might be tears in my eyes, in my voice. I will continue to pray for God's blessings on this country. Dear God, be with us please!

As the church begins another new year we ask ourselves, as we always do, what are we called to do? How are we to be followers of Christ in our day and age? I find myself remembering what I learned so long ago. I offer it here, if it helps you as you contemplate your "New Church  Year Resolutions".

We are called to listen. Where is God calling to us? Are we willing to hear his voice?

We are called to look at the signs of the times. What is going on around us? How are we to be witnesses to the Gospel in the midst of our world?

We are called to see, to judge (in the best sense of the word, not each other...but to judge what must be done in a situation) and to act as Jesus would.

As our days get darker I can't help but long for the light to return. The very darkness around me reminds me that we are all called to be light in our world. How will you do that? To whom will you be light?

Lots to pray about as we step into this Advent of our lives. Thank you God for this new year. Please guide us and be with us in it all.

Happy Thanksgiving. Happy Advent. See you in church!

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