Friday, October 24, 2008


As with most situations in my life, it's best to end on a joke.

The retreat last week was really profitable.  Not that I am changed completely or instanteously.  I am still in need of conversion and making the work of Faith real through changing the way I live.  However, as with Pentecost, I hope that the Divine Fire of the Holy Spirit can melt the glacial cap on my heart.  That's some global warming I can believe in.  True to the statement above, I found myself at the receiving end of a joke from the Divine Master himself.

You wouldn't know this to look at me but I have something of a pessimistic twist to my personality.  I think it's the dark German roots fighting the merrier Welsh and Irish strands.  At any rate, I am careful to rein in my self evaluation for fear that I will begin to believe my own hype.  To that end, I am fond of reminding myself and others, I am just a little sparrow in the Lord's flock.  Akin to St. Therese's Little Flower in the garden, I am content to chirp and to do my job however it presents itself.  During my retreat, the retreat master kept challenging me on this point.  I am not sure what he wanted me to see through this challenge.  But needless to say, it was a topic of parts of conversations all week.

On Friday, my retreat was ending with Holy Mass in the Basilica.  I sat down in the choir stall and was preparing myself for Mass, I thought, by looking at the reflection provided by Magnificat.  However, as I flipped the page, it was as though my guardian angel, or some other angelic assistant (I figure given my degree of goofery I have two or more angels assisting my assigned guardian angel), my eyes fell on the last line of the day's gospel.  It read: "Do not be afraid.  You are worth more than many sparrows."  I immediately doubled over in laughter; if it had been out loud it would have been an inappropriate amount of laughter.  Fr. Irwin, who was seated beside me, asked what the joke was.  I showed him the line, but I don't think he got it.  My retreat director was seated across the way from me, and when the Gospel was finished, he was smiling at me, as if to say, he understood the joke too.  All I could do was shrug my shoulders.

I don't know what the punchline exactly is.  Is it that I am more than the sparrow I envision myself or that being a sparrow isn't all that bad?  I stand by my assertion though that the world admires eagles, but depends upon the simplicity of sparrows.

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