I spent all morning while I was at work looking at the clock and couldn’t wait until I could leave and finally be on my way to pick up John and then to the Retreat house.
I felt guilty about this weekend because there are so many things happening. First, and foremost, Sawyer is getting Baptized and I really should be there for that. Plus, Danielle is getting her Masters in Nursing and what a proud moment for her and us. The third thing and a really important one, Jeanne is feeling sick and has to go to the clinic for tests. I guess when you start to get around our age you start to worry about aches and pains, wondering if it is a major illness.
Jeanne knows how important this weekend is for me and she insisted that I go to Retreat. I did feel guilty as she left to go for her tests while I waited for Augie to come and pick me up. All these things were going through my mind as I waited. I also knew that if I didn’t go then three guys who were counting on me to drive them to the Retreat Center weren’t going to be able to go. All three of these guys are sick and want to spend time alone with Christ. I couldn’t take that away from them so it was tough decision to make and I’m not sure I would have went if it were only me going but I couldn’t let these guys down.
Augie picked me up in his new six passenger van and we started on our trip to Sauk Rapids to pick up John and Harold. We started talking about church and all the problems we’re faced with from complacent to the down-right nasty individuals that are a part of our parish. Augie wasn’t the only one talking. I was doing my share of griping too. It really is hard to keep from saying anything when there are people that don’t want me to do the Rosary on Sunday before Mass. I feel that if they want to do the Rosary they certainly can, but when asked to do so turned me down flat, advising me that I should be looking for someone else, preferably a young person, to do it. I asked why it was my responsibility to find someone and was told that I think that I’m such a big person at the Church I should find someone. I just couldn’t understand that kind of reasoning. So, I vented to Augie thinking that maybe he might have an answer. Or, was that the reason I told Augie? Maybe, I was just my way of agreeing with him, that there really are some nasty people at our Church. When I “go there” I am reminded of the writings of Merton who wrote that we are all the Body of Christ with all our faults and limitations. I am reminded that without everyone of us there would be no Christ on earth. We through our Church are the body of Christ on earth. I can go on with the many gripes that we both had and talked about but I won’t because I’m ashamed of myself for falling into that pit of self pity. I am a better person than that. I Pray that our Lord will forgive me for my shortcomings.
Whenever I feel the urge to “vent” my feelings about any individual in my community I will think back to Holy Thursday.
I was reading Merton and came to the part where he writes that we are all a part the “universal” (Catholic) Church, that we all need each other to bring the love of Christ into this world. That night at Mass I watched as people of different ages, sex, nationalities and even political views went to the front of the Altar and kissed the Cross as it was being held by two altar servers (politically correct). I had tears as I watched people who could hardly walk bend down to kiss the foot of that Cross. I knew then what Merton was writing about. We are all so very different, we all think so differently, we all look so different but in Christ’ eyes we are all the same. He came here for our salvation, ALL of our salvation. No, I don’t always agree with some of the decisions made by others as I am sure they don’t agree with mine but we all have a right to make them be they right or wrong. We’re not here to judge one another but I know that I’ve been guilty of that not only in our Community but in my family as well. I certainly am not perfect but when I start to “vent” in the future I will remember that cross and all the people that came to it. I will also remember Calvary and all the people that let our Lord down, all those that judged Him, all those that abandoned Him and how utterly alone He was.