I find myself having gone a week without posting an article here (except for the normal reflection on the Sunday readings). I haven’t written for two reasons. First, I find myself without definitive thoughts to write about. Sometimes an idea comes into my head but doesn’t coalesce into something I can write an article on for a while.
The second reason is that I have been busy with other things. I’m not making excuses, just expressing the reality. Of course, being busy affects how much time I have to write but, more importantly, it affects how occupied my mind is, thus the ideas not coalescing. What makes me busy? On Thursday (November 18th), I will be offering Part II in my series, Giving Our Hearts to God: What It Means to Pray. (You can sign up for the webinar at https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_C3Zh_90VRfW1qZWFTciO0g). I also have three funerals.
So, since I don’t have a new idea to write about, I thought I would share two experiences I had in the past week. The first came on Veteran’s Day. I was asked to offer an opening and closing prayer at the local Veteran’s Day ceremony. I pray that military action is not needed. I pray that no one use force to take power or new lands. Yet, I understand at times military action may be taken to stop someone who has initiated war or terrorism. (For more on just war, see my article “Just War Theory.” This material is also covered in the last presentation in my pro-life series, Treating Life with Dignity and Love.)
I wish wars would never happen. Yet, the reality is there have been a number of wars. I think it is important to honor our veterans and to take care of them. War is a terrible thing. It can be especially tough for the veterans who come home with physical and psychological injuries. The speakers at the local ceremony spoke of this. My heart, remembering my grandfathers who served as well as one of my brothers and a cousin, was touched with compassion at what the speakers said.
The second experience I will mention came on Saturday. I was in my office early working when the phone rang. Now, on the weekends I don’t always answer the phone as it is often either a telemarketer or someone looking for a staff member other than me. (Before anyone thinks that I should always answer the phone, please note we have a voice mail system that tells people how to get hold of me if it is an emergency.) In this case, something told me to answer it. It was an emergency for a parishioner in the hospital who needed to be anointed. I was supposed to have a meeting that morning that got cancelled on Friday. With the meeting cancelled, I was able to go to the hospital right away without hesitation. The person died three hours later. I was unhappy when the meeting was cancelled. However, God’s timing is perfect.
I’ll end by returning to where I began, that I don’t have ideas (maybe one, we will see) of what to right about. I also don’t have definitive ideas of a topic for presentations after I finish the current series on prayer). I welcome suggestions. Sometimes people will say to me that God will give me the ideas to write and/or speak out. I know and believe that. Sometimes He gives me the ideas through people like you.