One of the great joys of priesthood for me is meeting so many different people from so many walks of life both within and beyond our parishes. The great diversity of people that I am privileged to journey alongside, with such rich and often amazing stories to share, continues to enrich both my life and my understanding of what it means to be human. I am truly blessed to be allowed to get to know so many, and invited to share something of life together, often at very significant and poignant moments. So it is often very frustrating for me when I allow life to become so full of activity that sitting down for a chat and a cuppa feels like an indulgent luxury.
So I was really rather glad, if not somewhat relieved this week, when I was brought up short during a conversation with my doctor, as we were chatting about the similarities in our lifestyles and vocations – ‘when did busyness in our life become a virtue?’ he asked. ‘Hmmm, when indeed’ was my response, as we both reflected upon our thinly hidden collusion with such a lifestyle. Such busyness chimes with the notion of rapidification that Pope Francis exposes in Laudato Si’ – to describe a life that is full of frenetic activity and frenzied thoughts, that perpetuates a culture of permanent availability, and relegates the importance of family, relationships and friends to the sidelines of life. It is a pattern and rhythm of life that not only tends to devalue and discard the value of rest, relationships and reflection for fullness of life lived in harmony with God, Creation and each other, but is also one that rather significantly finds no place in the life and ministry of Jesus that we encounter in the gospels.
May God grant us the wisdom to rediscover the joy and necessity of rest and reflection, play and contemplation, time ‘wasted with God’ and of course the delight of a cuppa with each other.
Wishing you and yours a restful sixth week of Easter.
PRAYER OF THE WEEK
have mercy on us,
for the times we forget
that we belong to each other.
You call us to be still,
to hear the whisper of our Sister Wind,
to feel the radiance of our Brother Sun,
and to be nourished by our Mother Earth.
Renew us in your healing love.
Inspire us to water the earth,
and nurture one another,
so all may flourish.
Together, as one family,
may we always sing your praise.
Through Christ our Lord,