I attend a beautiful Roman Catholic church called St. Peter's. It is on the local historical list, built by German immigrants in 1893. I love St. Peter's as if it were my home. The people there are people I've know since I was 3 years old. I remember the cornflower blue winter coat that Dorothy used to wear. I remember when the church used to have pale pink and blue ceilings, instead of cream and forest green and gold.
St. Peter's and another local parish are hosting a parish mission this week. Every evening a visiting Franciscan monk gives a talk on a different topic. I attended one on Sunday night, and these thoughts caught my attention:
1) What are we so angry about? Sometimes we review the events leading up to the anger and realize that it really wasn't that important after all. Anger often leads to shame and disgrace. I am so guilty of this one. I fly off the handle, when it's something so small. And usually the ones I blow up at are the ones who had nothing to do with the situation. We don't have to bottle things up, but sometimes there is no need to be angry.
If a small thing has the power to make you angry, does that not indicate something about your size? ~Sydney J. Harris
I destroy my enemy when I make him my friend. ~Abraham Lincoln
2) Cast not the first stone...you may be surprised by the result. The monk told an interesting story...
He was celebrating mass at his parish, when two people walked in with motorcycle helmets on. Everybody turned to stare, especially when the two walked up to receive Holy Communion. A parishoner confronted the two, saying that it was disrespectful to receive Holy Communion while wearing motorcycle helmets. The two people walked straight out of the parish.
Later it was discovered that the people in motorcycle helmets were epileptic and were required to always wear their helmets. How sad that the parish's preconceived judgement denied the visitors the grace of Christ Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament!
Also, you may be surprised by who you meet in Heaven...and who you don't. And you may just be surprised that you are there!