Tell Me Something, I Promise I’ll Listen

Have you ever started to tell someone something and they cut you off, telling you they already know that?  It is so frustrating to not even begin to say what you wanted to say before you’re interrupted and shot down.  What would Miss Manners say about such behavior?

While I’m not sure what Miss Manners would say, I’m pretty sure cutting people off is considered rude in most circles; yet, we persist.  It’s almost as if there is an unwritten competition involving knowing more than others.  So, since there is competition with others, surely there is ego involved, and we already know that the only way to deal with our ego is to recognize it when it rears its head and thereby render it powerless.

What is so hard about just listening to someone tell us a piece of info that we already know about.  It makes them feel good to tell us, so why not let them feel good and listen to their story, again.  You could even look at the practice of not interrupting and listening to something we already know, as a ministry.  We’re letting the other person feel good about sharing.

It is a service we can provide that will cost us absolutely nothing but a little patience.  And, our reward?  The other person will enjoy our presence more, and perhaps we’ll put a smile on the face of God that we are, in fact, maturing.

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Absorb The Blame – Spread The Praise

One of the most glorious ministries we can have is serving others by spreading the praise.  Everyone likes to feel needed and appreciated and there is no better way to receive that than to be praised for something you did.  Unfortunately, it feels so good that there is usually a long line of people standing there trying to find a way to get credit for a successful project even if they only contributed a miniscule effort.  No matter, find a way to give others the praise that you receive.  If nothing else we can always include them as a group when praise comes our way.  Share the praise even if they didn’t do much, so what, if they did anything at all, include them.

Now the other part, the hard part, absorbing the blame.  This can get tricky because it can carry us dangerously close to telling an untruth, and besides, the line will be long with people wanting to skate out from under the responsibility for the failure.  So, how do we actually pull this off.  Let’s say a project we were involved in was unsuccessful.  You can see the blame clouds forming on the horizon to drench you with rain.  Now is your moment.  Step up and say something like, “I feel terrible about the way this project turned out and I hope all of you can forgive me for not doing all that was in my power to do.  Next time, I will try to do better.”  Perhaps you might find a few others that were involved stepping forward to agree and expressing the same thought about themselves.  But, even if no one comes to your side, let them off the hook of failure by acknowledging your own short comings.  After all, your effort wasn’t perfect was it?  Why point the blame at another, even if their part in the failure is greater than your own.  It’s over.  Move on.  Give everyone a bye, and start afresh.

Jesus calls us to serve others.  Sometimes we have to serve them the way they emotionally need it.  Absorb the blame – Share the praise.  They will love you for it!

Here’s To All Who Helped Form You As You Are Today

While listening to Bishop Hartmayer speak to the Confirmation Candidates about their chosen confirmation names, I heard many tell him they chose their particular name because it was a saint’s name but also that it had been the name of a parent, grandparent, uncle, aunt, or good friend who was influential in their lives.

It made me reflect again on the importance of others in our individual formation.  Without realizing it, we often look to others and see Jesus in them and want to be more like them and Him.  What a compliment to those imitated.  The very idea makes a person want to “stand up straight and do right”, as my sainted mother use to say, because someone has seen something in us and we want to make sure it is a positive experience for them and others.

The best way to ensure that we live our lives in such a way as to be a good influence on others, is to make sure we spend adequate time everyday drawing close to the very author of life, Jesus Christ.  We do that through prayer, reflection, reading scripture or watching how others, more mature than we are, live their own lives.  If we can see Jesus in the life of another then we should do what they do, say what they say, and behave the way they behave.

Over time, their influence will work its magic in us, and hopefully in the lives of those who are always watching us.

Parish Community Needs Photo Directory To Know Itself

The Parish is a group of people who are gathered for worship on Sunday and at other times for various events.  It is a grouping of people with many different viewpoints, many different attitudes, and many different models of what Church is all about.  It is that diversity that builds tolerance and patience and characterized the Body of Christ in all its fullness.

Diversity is the key word in the health of a Parish.  Unity does not mean uniformity.  We are not clones.  We are different and we are healthiest when we celebrate our differences.  Each part of the Parish stands up for its viewpoint and by doing so it presents a much larger image of Christ, present in His Body, gathered in His name.

St. William is made up of 800+ families and 2,200 total people.  That’s a lot of diversity and a lot of health.  In Msgr. Kenneally, our Pastor, we have the benefit of his many years of experience dealing with the diversity of today’s modern parish.

To help each of us know our brothers and sisters, we will be preparing a Parish Picture Directory.  LifeTouch is one of the largest companies in the United States and will take our photos and bind them into the final directory.  Each family will have the option of purchasing packages of photos for its own use at home.

LifeTouch provides a feature whereby you can schedule the time you prefer to have your pictures taken.  Go to the Parish webpage at http://www.stwill.net and click on the second article right under Msgr’s picture and a scheduling page will come up.  You can then follow the online directions to select your preferred time.  A reminder will be sent to you about a week before your scheduled time.

If you are one who has shied away from having your picture taken and included in previous directories because of a concern for privacy, we surely understand, but remember in this day and time a lot is already known about you.  Hopefully, you will respond and be a part of this wonderful activity.