From Your Pastors
Many of you know Buddy or at least of Buddy from liturgies and our YouTube channel. Buddy is a rescue and has been with us now for 3 years. He feels secure in the Oratory, though unknown sounds and sudden changes can create fear and anxiety for him. He can also be afraid of new things, animals, and people, especially when there is fast movement, or the other animals are much larger than he. In some way, Buddy is not too much different than many of us people. We can be most comfortable with the familiar, the known, the similar. Life seems smoothest perhaps when there is not too much stress on our emotional bandwidth and when it's clear how to navigate the various landscapes of life.
This past week, Buddy went on vacation, the first in quite a while for many of us. It was a simple trip to see family and have a brief respite from the routines of life, especially after the last 18 months which have demanded much from all of us. Buddy was quite happy to get his lifetime beach permit and to have a chance to run on the beach in the evening. Now, Buddy is not a water dog but he enjoys running in the sand and likes getting wet to cool off. On his recent evening run, he met Tilghman, a nine-month-old Golden Retrievercurrently weighing at 90 lbs. Buddy’s human (Fr. Michael) was ready to scoop him up, anticipating anxiety driven aggression when Buddy surprised him. Instead of running away in fear, or barking aggressively to ward off the incoming unknown, Buddy silently went right up to Tilghman and jumped up to face him on the same level. Then, the tails started wagging and an episode of play and run and rolling ensued. The two became fast friends.
Perhaps as we get some time this summer in our recovery from the pandemic, we might take a cue from Buddy and Tilghman and look at how we act and react to the differences among us and in our circles of community. We need not be the same to find joy in a moment together. Nor need we simply hold to the safety of our defined universes. Trying to see each other as we are, looking into one another’s faces, acknowledging our differences without fear, might be a starting point in knitting our unity and affection from the diversity of our lives.
Fr. Michael Callaghan, c.o. and Fr. Mark Lane, c.o.