With the holidays gone and the year done, I’m back to the normal course of life, take a deep breath, relax and perhaps, wait until Ash Wednesday to repent, hope not. I thought I’d have a luxury of time watching NFL, yet, part of me suggests, no rest for the weary, job never gets done, life’s short and odd, your reward is great in heaven, get to know your parishioners on a personal level and treat them really well, be generous with your time, talent and treasure and stop spending for nothing, learn the culture and quit judging, visit the sick, homebound and the Inactive, provide for the needy even down to the last dollar, listen to stories even the dull and boring, get well versed with the idioms of the moment, set- up a luncheon with the new parishioners and winter visitors, invite people including the difficult and the unlikeable, make friends and let them in, stay away from temptations in all forms and sizes, if you can’t, darn it! call 1 800 Bishop; remember the devil wears prada and you’re a prime target, recruit more volunteers and be thankful, arm and surround yourself with experts, raise funds, it goes along with the job description and cuts across the ministry for which you were ordained, only secretly, don’t be myopic, create a system that allows you to manage everything, organize programs and work hard on it even if they end up in dismal failure, show up in meetings, send words of appreciation asap and not 3 days after, take time to unwind, watch the playoffs, drive somewhere and leave town on your day off.
What else? laugh at your mistakes and be not afraid of trying and falling, and keep smiling, you don’t know how many souls are touched and spirits lifted when you do, instead of frowning and whining in just about anything as if the rise and fall of the parish depends on you, don’t give your people the impression you carry the world on your back, not healthy at all, you’re not a superman, just an ordinary guy doing something extraordinary, don’t wear yourself out, remember hygiene, no wife and no significant other to take care of your personal business, don’t forget your roots, pass on chocolate, get in touch with old friends and keep enemies closer, practice what you preach, shop less, invest more, try hard to lose weight, play hoops and turn on the wii and let it entertain you on idle moments should there be, and take it easy or rather, your people easy. Simplify Catholicism and make it fun and relevant. In the end, the entire spectrum of church affairs boils down into relationships with God and neighbor. Save souls and don’t alienate.
Did I miss anything? Oh yeah, pray regularly, make it non-negotiable, night and day, in and out of season, rain or shine, in sickness and health, for richer, for poorer, spend at least an hour a day with God, otherwise, Priesthood makes no sense at all.
And for heaven’s sake, be on time!
What else? That’s all I got for now. Amen.