Friday, April 11, 2014

Forgetting the Essential

On the spiritual page of the Catholic Times the columnist recounts the story of a religious group who had decided to spend an Easter Sunday,  after attending liturgy, playing sports on an Emmaus trip. The religious brother who was in charge of the outing went ahead to prepare for the time together of the 30 religious in the country. He  prepared all the necessary equipment:  nets, balls, bats, and so forth, and of course plenty of food for snacks.

While traveling to the site, the brothers, not having spent time together in this fashion for some time, were busy chatting , singing and eating. They were enjoying  the warm weather and their time together. The brother who had prepared for the sporting events felt satisfied that he had done what needed to be done to give everyone a enjoyable time, anticipating the surprise of the brothers when seeing all the equipment he had prepared.

Arriving at the playing grounds, they all changed into their sporting clothes and soccer shoes, and after loosening up the body with their stretching exercises, starting looking for the soccer balls.

The monastery on  these outings  usually spent time playing soccer, and in the evening eating pork ribs. These 30 young religious all were looking for the soccer balls. It was then that the brother religious who prepared all the equipment remembered that he had forgotten the most important item: the soccer balls. 
The superior  of the group laughingly said to him: "The tradition of the monastery is to play soccer until the players are completely bushed,  is it not! Your job is to have the group divide into teams, choose  the  referees and  let them enjoy themselves. You were busy about too many things and forgot what was  important."

One of the group took the van into town and after some time came back with some balls. That day they were only able to play soccer for a short period of time. The brother in charge of athletics was, of course, exasperated and humiliated. 

One who is responsible for a task wants to do their best, the columnist reminds us. There are times that a person thinks what  he considers important others will also. However, this thinking leaves no room for the different demands of others and we often experience friction and confusion as a result. This always begins with good intentions, but  it is not what others may want: one person's good deed turns out to be a problem for others.

The columnist concludes by offering some advice.  Before  we  plan  to act upon a thought or impulse we should discern  whether it is merely  personal  or something others would approve of.  This requires  give and take.  Dialogue  brings about relationship and is the  window to communicating and a necessity for mature growth. Do you have a good thought that has come to mind?  Then share it with another. This will arouse an even  better feeling.                                                                           

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