January 2018

 

Oh, dear Lord,

Three things I pray,

To see Thee more clearly,

Love Thee more dearly,

Follow Thee more nearly,

Day by day…

Fran Whelan

Let’s make that our mantra for 2018. Some of you are probably singing it or humming it right now. Ha, ha, now it’s going to be stuck in your head the rest of the day (by day, by day, by d-a-y). Too bad, so sad, I put a smile on your face! But what does this song really mean?

 

To see Thee more clearly –

No, it doesn’t mean to wear your glasses. It means to recognize Christ in ourselves and others, be it a spouse, family member, friend, coworker, or stranger. Many moons ago when I worked at UNMH, I was strolling through the old, crowded ER and spotted a couple I knew from church. They had gotten through the long lobby wait and triage and were in the hallway of the ER waiting to be seen. They had been there quite awhile. They were antsy and wanted to leave. I convinced them that they were half way through the process and to have some patience and they would get good care. Besides, if they left they would have to start the whole process over at a different hospital. I didn’t think twice about my advice and went back to my office. Well, I saw them after Mass at the Newman Center a week later. They told me we recognize Christ in one another.they had taken my advice and thanked me for being like Jesus Christ in their time of need. I was stunned and humbled and it was the first time someone compared me to our Lord. Now, years later, and I ponder and think, why not? We should take the time to acknowledge when we recognize Christ in one another.

 

To love Thee more dearly—

As I recently told a friend, you have to love yourself before you can love others. Not a narcissistic love. God forbid. But a healthy self love where you feel comfortable in your own skin. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies and strangers to ourselves. Think about it. You can only give what you have. If you have self loathing, that is what you will give off to others. If you have a healthy respect for yourself, you will do the same for others. And the more you have, the more you give, and the Trinity fills you back up with agape love. A big part of loving God dearly is loving your neighbor. It seems easy to love family and friends, but what about strangers and, especially, the marginalized? “Whatsoever you do to the least of these, you do to Me.”And who are the marginalized? The poor, the shut-in, the homeless, the undocu-mented immigrant, the prisoner, the sick, and the lonely. Every individual is a creation from God, made from Love, made with Love, made to love.

 

Follow Thee more nearly—

Participate in the Mass first and foremost! Say out loud the prayers and responses. S.I.N.G!! Listen to the readings—don’t read along—ACTIVELY listen to the lectors proclaim. Faith comes by hearing! Go on re-treat, attend lectures, read papal encyclicals, read the writings of Saints, Mystics, and theologians. Be.a.part.of.a.community.aka.the.Body.of.Christ.

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