Monday, April 26, 2010


Storms and drought. That is the life of a parish priest. Storms and drought.

There are seasons in which there is so much to do you just start letting go of things. There is not even someone to delegate any longer to and so you just come to the thought “Oh well, that just simply won’t get done.” Then you made a vow. “When the work load has somewhat died down again I swear I am NOT going to feel guilty for taking and afternoon and/or evening off to do nothing.

Then you hit the drought. It is not that there is no work to be done. There is nothing with a pending deadline so that it can sit on your desk for a month if need be. This is the time to take advantage of some personal time to rejuvenate, reinvigorate, and above all not feel guilty!

Part of the problem is you live in the same building that other people work in. So I go downstairs and they are as busy as ever. I tell myself, “but you will still be working until 9PM tonight and the weekend! Go ahead! Take a bike ride!” But then I think of the parish employees working and guilt comes in. Yes, it is stupid. But there it is. Actually it wasn’t so hard before I was pastor but now . . .

“Don’t cry for me Argentina.” (As if priests were to only ones to suffer from this - but this is my diary.) I still wouldn’t trade it for the world. Part of the problem is convincing myself that I don’t have to do, do, do. In fact it is patently wrong. It is part of the character of the priest that he get away and read and study. To not do this is to fail in part of his ministry.

This past Sunday there was nothing that I had to attend to after the last Mass. I turned my computer off so that I would not be tempted to look at Emails. There was a storm brewing that the news service issued a warning about. I was going relax if it killed me.

Though there was a promise of thunderstorms it was hot and partly sunny. So the first thought was to wash and wax the car. It was still do, do, do but at least it would be fun. But as soon as everything was arranged it turned dark and rain started sputtering down. So much for that.

But that led to an even better solution. I grabbed my diary that had been so terribly neglected as of late, several journals that were past due for reading, and book , Sebastian, a snack, and went out on the parish porch to read and listen to the rain. It wasn’t the thunderstorm for which I hoped but the steady rain provided a soothing background.

I wrote in my diary and then opened my journal, and the next thing I remember is wiping the drool off of my chin and realized it was time to go in and make some dinner.

Oh well.


Anonymous said...

Father, I attended the parish women's retreat this past weekend. "Lectio divina"--taking time to be with the Lord, for no "purpose" but to be with Him--was the message. We were cautioned about the "do-do-do-" mentality that we have. And indeed, sitting quietly during those talks made me sleepy. I took several naps on Saturday, realizing that I push myself to do so much during the week that I do not recognize how tired I am--until I sit down to "be quiet" with the Lord.

Andrew the Sinner said...

Father, I like this blog a lot. A real sense of the Divine and the world all at once. Thank you.