On the ride home from the ophthalmologist’s office, I noticed something rather strange. As I looked out on the world, I could see that trees had individual leaves on their branches – they weren’t just amorphous bunches of green. I was able to see the world in greater detail than ever before and my school work steadily improved. I could see things in the distance that I had previously been unable to distinguish. With the assistance of new lenses, I was able to see the world as never before. The commandments function as kinds of “lenses” for us.
From the Editor
With regard to the mandate in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires employers to provide insurance coverage for employees seeking contraceptives, abortion and sterilization medical services, several misconceptions abound concerning the position of the Catholic Church.
Every now and then I will say something in a certain way or act in a certain fashion that makes me stop and wonder when one of my parents took over my body. More often than not I find these instances to be pretty humorous. They also are powerful reminders of the profound influence that our parents can have upon us.
Just the other day, I was visiting with a parishioner who was reminiscing about what Sundays were like as a child. It brought back my own fond memories of Sundays as a kid growing up in Saginaw. Sundays always started with Mass at 7:00 a.m. at St. Thomas parish. Of course, that really meant the day began much earlier in order to get everyone ready for church, but we were always on our way out the door by 6:40 a.m. I don’t recall this being a problem as a child, but I know it offered some challenges as a teen.
I like Lent. I like the ways that Lent can challenge me to be quiet by spending more time in prayer. As pastor of a busy parish community, quiet is something that can be in short supply at times. Yet Lent forces me to slow down a little bit, becoming more deliberate in my personal prayer time, even as the Church’s liturgy takes on a more deliberate, reserved tone and sense. Having the opportunity to prayerfully rest in the presence of God can feel a bit like resting on an island in the midst of an ocean.
When I was a student in college, Fr. Charlie Irvin, who was my pastor at the time, told me, “Do you want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans!” Little did I know that those words would come true during my third year in seminary, as I made preparations for my six-month parish internship. As I was getting ready to head off to my internship parish, I shared with some of my seminary classmates that the situation that gave me the most anxiety was imagining the first time that I had to handle an emergency at the hospital without the assistance of the pastor or parochial vicar.