It was time for my morning coffee and I decided to take a quiet walk in my garden. The hope was that all would be peaceful. I would be inspired. I would plan out my day. You know, all would be perfect.
And it really seemed that way, until I noticed that the time was getting away from me.
I decided that I had better get to the videos and the writing and the course planning, you know, all of the stuff that comes with doing what I do.
It was then that I had realized that I was locked out.
My children it seemed, had assumed that I was ‘out.’ Not in the backyard with bare feet and strolling among the tomatoes and growing vines but out; gone for several hours possibly, lost in the sea of adults until I would reappear again at some unknown moment in the future.
So when I tried the door and it didn’t move I knocked and then banged on it, hoping that they could hear me.
Noise on the other side however prevented that.
Whether it was a vacuum or a radio blaring the result was the same; no one could hear me.
Not to be let down I tried to leave through the backyard gate, only to find that our safety latch, bolted from the other side was doing an excellent job of keeping the children away from a busy street…and me too apparently.
Now most people would carry on formulating strategies as to how they might escape the yard but for me, I must admit that it caused me to pause.
It occurred to me…
…that this is precisely what happens to people in the Church of God.
Many wander off aimlessly after the natural beauties of this world, placing their love of creatures above their love of the Creator, expecting all the while that they still have one foot in the house.
But sooner or later they come to themselves, and trying to return home they find that the door is locked.
They are yelling with their lives that they need authentic friendship, real meaning, sincere and honest love, all the things that we as Church can provide; and we, well, we just can’t seem to hear them.
It is as if the prodigal son wiped off his mud to come home only to find that there was no one waiting for him. No one had noticed his absence other than to say, ‘there used to be more people here.’
Isn’t that what we are doing in our parishes?
I for one wish that every human life was a direct path to the One God.
It would be lovely if we never made mistakes or faltered in any way, but that is not reality.
Every community loses people constantly and for reasons that are not very significant.
Those who wander, are not necessarily against the Catholic faith.
Those who take long and meandering walks away from the Church of Christ are not necessarily trying to get away from what they found there.
But they are for a time looking at the beauties of this world and forgetting about the source of all beauty.
So what can we do about it?
As a start, let’s unlock the door.
in Christ, patrick