Sunday, January 20, 2013

Something Weird

"And I got out of there without punching anyone, kicking anyone, or breaking down in tears.  Some days the small victories are all you achieve." -- Molly Ringle

Do you have somebody that you have to deal with that is a jerk with a capital "J"?

I do.  

And here's the weird part.  He's a priest.  He should be holy and kind and full of compassion.

Instead he just points out what you're doing that isn't holy enough.  He's full of criticism, instead of acceptance.  He's focused on things instead of people.  He is literally as UNpriest-like as you can get.

You interact with him and shake your head.  It doesn't make sense.  The dots don't connect.  

I can hardly believe it myself.

I mean, honestly...why on earth did you become a priest if all we do as a parish just makes you crazy??

It's been a weird dilemma.  

I'm all about giving chances and dealing with change.  I like new experiences and new people.  I want to like this guy I really do, but the vibe is negative...real negative.
And how do you deal with negative when he's a priest...someone who automatically receives your respect and admiration just by his holy dedication to his vocation??

Guess what...turns out that I don't do well in that regard.

Turns out, I lost it.
I let him have it.
I gave my priest a dressing down and still I can't believe I did that.
(No...he's not doing anything criminal...just not very priest-like either.)

What was I thinking?  
Why didn't I do deep breathing...meditation...visualization...words of affirmation??

I only lasted six months with this guy.
Six months.
There aren't enough Hail Mary's, Our Father's or Glory Be's that could get me through.
I cracked.

And this is where the weird part comes in...
even though the guy makes me boil and tense up every muscle in my body...
I have suddenly been faced with a truth that Catholics don't like to face.
Those poor guys are human.  They are doing an inhuman job.

I've been blessed to know a number of priests that have made it look easy. 
Darling Monsignor Wade, Father Looney, Father Bong, Father Richard...these have been the men that have literally "oozed kindness and the love of Christ out of their pores" as my dental hygienist described it.
I was spoiled by strong leaders and great men who are kind and compassionate at their core.

We ask them to be the face of Christ...demand it...and yet, when do they get an "off day"
or year...or decade?

The answer: never.

Catholic parish priests have to keep it together, remain holy and kind, even in the darkest of times.

This man is dealing with's obvious.
He's out on a ledge and swinging.
He deserves some help and I'm sad to say all I gave him was my two cents.

Two cents too much, I'm sure.

How about living the compassion, Beth?
How about walking the walk?

Somehow, it's a whole lot harder with a priest.

So...I guess I'm grateful for learning very late in life that priests are human and NEED our compassion.
They need options and they need to be not so isolated.
How does a priest get help??

I have no idea.

I pray for patience, for understanding and for guidance...we all need it.  Some more than others...
trust me.

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