Dear Abbey Members and Friends:
Today's meditation by Fr. Don Talafous, St. John's Abbey, really struck me. The fourth tenet of our Rule of Life tells us, "Show Fellowship with a welcoming heart, seeking Christ in everyone I meet, offering comfort and celebration." Giving generously of our time is certainly part of that rule of life. In today's busy environment, it is so easy to overlook opportunities to be present for someone else, whether part of our family, church community, or even the wider community. What many of us do not have is someone who will give us a few minutes to just LISTEN to us. What a gift that is when someone does that! Fr. Talafous, I believe, has it right when he speaks to what we are given in return for opening ourselves to listening and presence for another.
Shalom and many blessings, George
"Who am I that the mother of my Lord should come to me" (Luke 1:43)? In the gospel event we call the visitation these words are Elizabeth's response to a visit from her cousin Mary. The pregnant and elderly Elizabeth doesn't give a self-centered response: "Where were you? It's about time" but "How did I ever deserve this?" Elizabeth receives the gift of Mary's time and effort as an unexpected, most welcome kindness, a gift. Daily life offers all of us opportunities to give generously and also to receive with gratitude and joy what others give. In our day phone calls and letters as well as convenient mobility make it possible for us to bring consolation, light, even some excitement to the lives of the lonely, the ill, the neglected, the suffering in any way. You could even include e-mail for some. Yet with so much technology-enhanced opportunities for communication and contact, we still so often plead no time. Visitation in some form or other of those who would benefit from it is a snap for us today compared to what it was in Mary's time. What keeps us from doing more of it? Perhaps it's our lack of identification with the selflessness of Christ, something He learned at least partly from His mother. Fr. Don Talafous, SJA, 6/01/09