Friday, October 28, 2011

The Listener

What Boudreaux heard in Church

Old Boudreaux died and went to the pearly gates. St. Pete was just waiting for him to get there. When they met up, St. Pete said, "Whoa, Boudreaux, I can't let you pass through the gates until you answer three questions." Old educated Boudreaux say, "Go ahead, St. Pete, give me your best shot," St. Pete say, "O.K., Boudreaux, question number one. How many seconds do they have in a year?" Boudreaux say, "Aw, that's easy, St. Pete, twelve." St. Pete say, "Boudreaux, how did you get twelve?" Boudreaux say, "Jan second, Feb second, etc." St. Pete say, "Boudreaux, that's not quite what I'm looking for, but I'll let you slide. Question number two. How many days do they have in a week?" Boudreaux say, "That's easy, St. Pete, two." St. Pete say, "Boudreaux, where you get two from?" Boudreaux say, "Today and tomorrow." St. Pete say, "Boudreaux, that's not quite what I'm looking for. Now Boudreaux, this last question you have to get it right or I can't let you into heaven. Who is our father?" Boudreaux say, "That's easy, St. Pete, Howard." St. Pete say, "Where did you get Howard from, Boudreaux?" "Our father who art in heaven, Howard be thy name.

We never know what we will be called to next if we are following the path God has willed for us.  If you work in a job where you speak with other people daily there is always a call to serve others in Christ by listening rather than speaking.
I have not practiced listening well in the past, but I am learning to listen.  My big question is learning how to listen to the things that others do not say.  This is where true reflection about our own lives helps us to listen to others.

For example, listening while working with an especially difficult or as I like to call it, ‘high-maintenance’ person is imperative.  But how to I do this and show Christ’s patience and charity when the person is constantly in my face complaining?

One thing I had to do is reflect on my personal goals and redirect my temperament.  I prayed and thought about the real reason I love Christ and my desire to serve others.  This reflection helped me to engage in a change within myself so that I could redirect my frustration with my circumstances into understanding and loving.  By looking at the bigger picture of my life with this other person intersecting it, I realized by listening to my inner conscience and desire to serve, I could best serve this other person by loving more.

“A whole new world of freedom, possibility, and creativity emerges when we can listen to change.”  The Sacred Art of Listening  by Kay Lindahl

The sad fact is that I come across many people who remind me of times in my life where I felt like no one listened to me.  Sometimes I am overwhelmed by my desire to listen to them and friend them and also get away from them at the same time.  I think you have to pick and choose your battles with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

We are called not only to listen to others in charity, but to listen creatively to the sound of God’s call in holy scripture and to the advice that lies within.  Jesus lives a life of service as he conquers his own doubt and fear in those moments of the Passion.  Jesus lives a life of service as he works at his craft and studies the ancient texts.  Jesus lives a life of service when he listens to the call of every wounded heart that has been removed from Eden.  

There are ways to listen creatively, but listening starts with me. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The New Translation of the Roman Missal

I remember several years ago when I went on this awesome camping and hiking trip to North Carolina.  There were about 16 of us with half being seminarians.  One of those days, we were just getting out for a hike and I heard one of the guys talking about what one of the seminary's professor's said about liturgy.

The young guy, a seminarian at the time, didn't get why the Father had hopes for a more meaningful liturgy with a change of words.  I butted in, young and probably not as knowledgeable as the seminarian and said, "well I know what he means, just take a look at the Athanasius Creed." 

I happened to have a copy in my trunk and I handed it over for him to ponder. 

I don't know if it was the Holy Spirit speaking or just a little know-it-all in me, but I do know the power and beauty of words.  There is a difference in the words of Stephanie Meyers and Marcel Proust. There is a difference in the words of Billy Graham and Pope Benedict XVI. 

It doesn't matter though if the words are fictional or theological, the power lies in the depth of meaning.  If the mass were still said in Latin, I can't say that I would understand everything.  But there is certainly a reverence in the words that have so much meaning that transcend all languages. 

This new Roman missal is an emergence to a brighter light in our lives.  Those who have diligently participated in the Holy Roman mass have been surrounded by the Church as an ocean.  I feel this rising up is a way of bringing the depth to those who have not known the true beauty of the Holy Catholic Church, or who have been waiting with excuses on the surface to dive in to the fullness of the Liturgy.

It's quite exciting because the center of the Church is the Word.  Those who seek the true Word, find the Truth of Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Link to the Wikipedia explanation:
Athanasius Creed

Friday, October 7, 2011

The High Cost of Communication

Communication comes in many forms as I found out even more when I asked my students to name them.  Even with all of these we don't always communicate enough with others.


Ignoring people has become an art and almost impossible.  One group of people we try to ignore is one we interact with on a daily basis. Coworkers.  I spend a lot of time seeing mine and answer their email questions on the weekend, but every now and then I need a break.  It is important to be positive with coworkers, but I think I could show Christ’s love even more by sending an email out to encourage and inspire. 

With all of these means of communication, I really have no excuse as a follower of Christ.