Issue Date: April 7, 2006
By JOSEPH McGOWAN
Early morning. I am in my room, bedroom, prayer room, work room. This one room fits all. It is cluttered with books here and papers there.
My counselor once said you can tell a lot about what a person thinks about himself when you take a look at his rooms.
If thats true, my life must be a clutter. But I think to myself, As long as my clothes are clean and I keep most of my straying thoughts to myself, we shall function quite nicely. I am presiding at a Mass for middle-school children today. I want it to be a good experience for them.
I want to look at them with loving respect. I want to share the space with them so that they feel that this sacred space is theirs. I want to let God shine through me so that they will understand that God loves them.
Yesterday I put together the few words I want to share with them. This morning I need time just to empty myself, to relax, to think about everything else but the Mass so that I wont get anxious.
When I get anxious, I miss the nuances of what is going on around me, the ups and downs that people show in their eyes, their posture, their presence. I miss what is going on in me. Am I focused or distracted? Is the glass half-full or half-empty for me today? Do I feel secure, comfortable, loved?
I breathe in and out. I thank the Lord for giving me one more day to enjoy Gods bright, bird-singing, flower-blooming morning. Then I grab my alb, and head on over to the church.
Fr. Joseph McGowan is a member of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus.
National Catholic Reporter, April 7, 2006
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