Reflections On Faith

Reflections on Faith

A faith that is alive grows through prayer and reflection. This is a new page, where our pastors and parishioners share their thoughts on the faith. We begin with reflections from parishioner Margadette Demet.

FINDING A WAY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN A PERILOUS TIME

We are confined in a manner not previously experienced. Our families and friends cannot visit us. Going out creates risks for us. We are deprived of the sacraments. We are blessed by virtual attendance at church services and are praying as we have not prayed before. The pandemic and its consequences in sickness and death of loved ones is almost too much to bear.

The cruel murder of a black man in Minneapolis rightfully shocked us all. His death incited protests throughout the country.  It also opened opportunity for purveyors of hate and political malice to use cover of the protests to cause chaos in cities throughout the country. Wanton looting and destruction of property has caused losses to innocent property owners which will take months and millions of dollars to replace or repair. Many of the property owners are black. Many are small business which will never recover. Additional lives have been taken, permanent injuries inflected, families shattered. What can we do?

May 26th was the memorial of Saint Philip Neri. He lived in the sixteenth century when Rome was deeply troubled, the time of the Reformation. Mathew Kelly in his soon-to-be-published book on My Catholic Life, relates how Philip, beginning as a layman and ultimately as a secular priest, found a way to make a difference. Kelly relates that Philip’s friend, Ignatius Loyola, tried to encourage him to join the Jesuits, but Philip determined his call was different. He utilized his time helping the poor in practical ways, collecting donations from his wealthy friends to help street children, walking around the streets of Rome befriending and conversing with prostitutes, poor children, uneducated factory workers, and others. He brought musicians with him in the streets. He went from place to place evangelizing ordinary people, picnicking with them and spending time. He had a magnetic personality, a good sense of humor, and the humility needed to open himself to others. Kelly relates one occasion when Philp approached a wealthy friend seeking alms for street children. The friend slapped him hard across the face. Philip responded by extending his hand again and saying, “That was for me, now how about something for the children?”

As we watch the news, and see the chaos, we are tempted to throw up our hands, or turn to depression. We all have neighbors and friends who are finding a way to help, shopping for others, making cheering phone calls, writing letters and emails to the shut ins, donating funds, helping with cleanup in damaged streets. We need to stiffen our resolve, discern with Jesus our own way, no matter how small. Like Philip we will find our own way.

Margadette Moffatt Demet

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