Sunday, October 25, 2015

Anger, the Priest and the Penguin

It is better not to allow anger, however just and reasonable, to enter at all, than to admit it in ever so slight a degree; once admitted, it will not be easily expelled, for, though at first but a small plant, it will immediately grow into a large tree.  ~St. Augustine

As I was driving to Mass this morning my mind began to wander.  It wandered back to an event this week that happened at Church.  I was upset by the way I saw two parishioner acting toward each other.  The behavior was hurtful especially to one.  So as I drove, I started to get angry about it.  Then I thought about St. Therese and how she struggled with frustration and being easily angered.  So I quickly asked for her intercession.  I was able to calm down and by the time I reached Church I was in a better frame of mind.

Then Fr. Charlie read the Gospel and explained it.  I think Father was reading my mind again.  Bartimaeus, a blind man sitting on the side of the road hears that Jesus is passing by.  Bartimaeus begins to cry out to Jesus.  Even with all the noise of the crowd Jesus hears him.  Many in the crowd, including the disciples rebuke Bartimaeus to be quiet.  They are angry that Bartimaeus is calling out. Jesus though asks that he come to Him.

Father reminded me that even though the disciples were with Jesus they didn't always get the message.  They, like me, were following but not completely understanding the message.  Father reminded us that we shouldn't let our anger or frustration with others keep us from living the Gospel. It is in our actions that we must be most Christ-like.  Actions, that word comes up a lot. How easy it is to say you are a Christian, to post it on your Facebook Timeline, and tweet it on Twitter. Empty; full of sound and fury, but nothing without ACTIONS.

So by now I am sure you are wondering why Father had his penguin with him today.  He was a prop for the beginning of Father's sermon.  In 1957 Father Charlie's father was bringing him a live penguin from an expedition.  The penguin died on the ship and was stuffed.  Father Charlie has had him ever since.  How can you not love a priest that begins with a penguin and ends with a call to live the Gospel not just hear the words.

Lord, here I am
sitting in my own frustration.
Forgetting to be charitable.

Thank you for the people that you put in my life,
who remind, who guide, and who make me smile.


1 comment:

  1. This has been a good week for me. I have put in my headphones each morning and slipped on my walking shoes and yes walked. I feel better, I know that this will be a slow process, but it is a start, a beginning. I love Father Charlie's penguin. I love you