Friday, September 14, 2012

Taking a Break

I will be taking a break from blogging for the next 2 1/2 weeks (until October 5). I have friends arriving tonight from faraway Syria, and I really need to be able to spend undiluted time with them. They will not be here for long. So, while I regret not being able to post the Monday Morning Meditation (the other posts are of lesser importance), I know that you will be able to scroll down to the last MMM and click on Fr. Austin's link and have a nice cup of Monday morning coffee and reflection with him.

And I wish to all of you who stop by in the interim a blessed day, week, month. Thank you for dropping in and being a part of my life.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Priests in Need

Only a few years ago, I never dreamt that I would posting a blog note like this one: among the homeless and hungry are priests. With the growing bandwagon of individuals bringing accusations of misconduct against priests, many fine priests are now being flasely accused by those who see the opportunity for some very fine ill-gotten gains. In fact, an investigation into the situation in California indicates that approximately half of all allegations are false. When allegations are made, most priests find themselves immediately without a job, without an income, often without a vehicle, and, sadly, often without the support of their diocese. Sometimes the trials drag on for months, if not years, before the priest is cleared, and the priest can end up both during the process and even afterward on the street, hungry and homeless.

We had two priests in our parish, both proved innocent (seems to be against the law of the land that one has to prove innocence rather than an accuser having to prove guilt) who went through this difficult period. One ended up with no food at all at one point. Our parish helped, but not all parishes are wiling or able to do so.

One organization, Opus Bono Sacerdotti, helps priests in these circumstances. Currently, though, more than 1000 priests have turned to Opus Bono for assistance, and there is not enough money to go around. I learned this weekend that a new supplicant, Fr. Francis, has just been released from the hospital and has no food or medication. This is just one example of many. If you can help Fr. Francis or any other priest or contribute even a few dollars on a monthly basis to this good cause, please visit the Opus Bono website. You will find more information there about what Opus Bono does and a mechanism for donating. Similarly, if you know of a priest in desperate straits, please refer him to Opus Bono. They turn no one away and provide help with food, shelter, and, in extreme cases, safety.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Discernment and Obedience

I do my utmost to live in obedience if I am able to discern God’s will. Sometimes the discernment is hard. Other times the obedience is hard. Most recently, it is the latter. I am being offered the one job (a promotion to my boss's position) that I have always coveted, and I don’t believe that God wants me in that job. I have worked hard at discernment, and what I have discerned is that God would have me walk away from this job. I get lots of encouragement to take it, but I have reason to believe that these compliments are simply compliments and that I would be listening to the Evil One, should I take them for more than that and go ahead and accept the job. God put me in the job I currently have, and there are some indications that He wants me to remain in it. One of the hardest things I have ever done is say “no” to that position, but I did it two weeks ago, and I stood by that “no” when people came to me with temptations to take it.

So, whew!, matter over, right? Nope. I was at an office party today, and up came a senior official, asking me why I had turned down and then tried to talk me into changing my mind, saying I was the right person for the job. He pushed aside all my "logical" arguments. Of course, God has to consider me the right person for the job, but I can only say that to some people. Others simply do not "get it" when I give this reason. Sigh!