Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Ingratitude in Response to Favors

A priest writing for priests in the Pastoral Bulletin recalls a trip to Germany some years ago when he visited with a Korean family living in the country. The grandmother who had her grandchild beside her, turned to the priest, and told him that she is praying that some day he will be a priest. The son hearing his mother saying these words suddenly, upset:"I don't want my son to be a priest, stop praying for him in that way."   

That night when he returned to his  dormitory he asked a friend of the boy's father why such a strong reaction to the mother's words.  He was told that on trips to Germany by many priests from Korea, the father would spend  time  showing the priests  around the country and making them feel at home in Germany. However, when he went to Korea he would look up these priests and felt they were not pleased  to see him.This reaction on the part of the priests that he spent time with in Germany and their response when he met them in Korea, changed his attitude.

In the article the priest remembers the time he has been the object of a person's generosity and has always felt pangs of conscience  for not given the proper response when he has met the person at a church service are event.

He often hears priests are cold and curt with the Christians. Many priests even with the the older Christians, wait to be greeted. He feels that it is rare to have a priest make the first gestures of greeting--    good at receiving  love but  not in giving.   

Celibacy he believe is the  reason that we  are not comfortable with  expressing words of  love and warmth. We are not familiar with close relationships,  so we lack a sensitivity and emotional maturity. 

When we lack love in our lives, he says, and  do not    go out to others, our humanity begins to die.  He gives us the example of the Dead Sea that only receives and doesn't give.   

We hear often the  treatment  Korean priests receive from our Christians is the best in the whole Catholic world.  Nothing to do with our qualifications or efforts, but thanks to Korean society. Benefits given to us by  Christians are many, we need to repay the debt. 

We should be serving them with humility and kindness, but instead they see pride in our actions and behavior.

He concludes the article with a passage that is loved by many: "You have been told man, what is good, and  what the Lord requires of you: Only to do the right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8).

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