Friday, March 12, 2004

In response to Frustration
In the comments area, Jim commented on his frustration. I am glad he felt he could voice his sense of distress at the situation. It sounds like for lots of our readers there are a couple of lights in the clerical sky where they live. But I suspect Jim is not alone in this. So I offer this observation. It might not comfort. It might even be a little incendiary. So proceed with fair warning.

In the seminary and in my previous assignments, I would often get down or feel lonely or desperate. I especially felt this way when it seems like no one was on my side or I was in a particular constant screw up mode. Then while I was in seminary, in my personal prayer time before morning prayer, and I don't know what made me say this to myself, but I said, "Shane, you have one friend in the seminary. His name is Jesus Christ. In the final analysis, His is the only friendship that matters, so don't blow it. If Jesus turns some of his friends to you, that's a bonus. But you have one friend in the seminary. He is Jesus Christ."

For those who are frustrated you must fast and pray. By coming to know the only friend you have in that parish or diocese, his name is Jesus Christ, He will direct you to others who are His friends. Or His Priests. Pray that He would send someone who is His friend to be your pastor or your bishop. I know of a place that was mismanaged and mangled by a pastor for more than a decade. One of the parishioners said to me, "We have prayed for all this time for a real priest. Now we have one."

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