Wednesday, July 12, 2006

On the go

I shouldn't be up this late, but I don't feel quite ready to go to bed. I was out late with the Knights of St. John. Their meeting started around 8:30; then some food, and some cards. I usually don't stay for the cards, but I do enjoy it, and I think it is important to do from time to time.

Folks like hearing about my day, so here goes. Today I got to sleep in, as one of the retired priests took the early Mass; I had the evening Mass. Today being Wednesday, I stay home in the morning to work on my homily. As often happens, I don't quite finish it before I need to head to the office, which I did, finally, at 2. So for those who ask, how long does a priest work on his homily, I'd say I started working on the homily around 10, so that's 4 hours today, and counting.

What takes so long? Well, I chose to try an exegetical approach. That means, I want to try, in my upcoming homily, to expound the passage at some length. (I won't say which one, because who knows, I may start all over on Saturday.) Well, of course, one can say quite a bit, far too much for a homily. And, along the way, one wants to make applications and connect to life today. So where I ended it was about 1,200 words!

I think that's too long; but that leaves the hard part undone: what to cut, how to focus? Plus, once away from the keyboard, I thought of other points to make. Sometimes, I have to start it one day, and come back another day. I can't always give that much time to a Sunday homily, but (a) I think it's important and (b) I do enjoy it.

Well, in the office around 2, and did some business: that means, making phone calls, talking to the chancellor of the archdiocese about a matter, answering email, talking to a local businessman about selling SCRIP, which is a program where the parish sells gift certificates or gift cards, and people use them at local businesses, and the parish gets a percentage. It raises a nice amount of money, and could raise a lot more if more folks got involved.

I needed to be in the confessional at 5, before 6 pm Mass; only my business manager had a problem she needed my help to deal with. I thought, I'll be a few minutes late; it was longer than that. You say fault me for that, saying, couldn't it have waited till tomorrow? Well, no it couldn't. As it was, no one was denied the sacrament. Mass at 6, finished around 6:30, then I chatted with folks in the parking lot for a few minutes, before heading over for a Bible study at 7 pm.

Before I did, I noticed a couple sort of lingering in the parking lot. "Hi, I don't know you," I said. They said, we're So-and-So, remember you said to meet you here? "D'oh!" I said, slapping my head -- I had: their daughter is getting married, and they had some paperwork they needed me to help them with. Right away. But after work. So I said, well, we can talk briefly in the parking lot after Mass! It worked.

After Bible study -- we are working through Genesis, and up to Abraham's conversation with the three visitors -- I chatted with a parishioner who is going to help on a project; meanwhile, an Ultreya group was finishing up, and this parishioner gave me an idea about something I needed to talk to the Ultreya group about; so I stopped in with them, briefly. Then to the Knights meeting. Home at 11:30, winding down.

This wasn't too bad; yesterday was a lot busier.


Anonymous said...

You are right, Father, that people enjoy reading about your daily life. I follow perhaps a half dozen blogs where people of good will and good faith simply relate their daily happenings; there is enormous beauty in these honest and goodhearted "ramblings", as some might call them. I must have been born with the vocation to appreciate goodness, because to me learning about the ways in which good folks handle the mundane chores, surprises, challenges, and opportunities for enjoyment in their respective daily lives is as delightful as gazing at wondrous works of art or hearing exquisite music. It's soul edifying. It's the joy and hope of knowing about
good people who make the world work better just by being who they are.

Terry said...

An entire hour of confession prior to Mass is beyond commendable.

Anonymous said...

It is really nice to hear about your day. People often don't realize how busy priests really are. In my old parish we still have a Monsignor who, well into his seventies, would go non stop all day long. I had a chance to witness this.
Being available for a whole hour for confessions is so great! I'm sure St. John Vianney and St. Padre Pio smile on you.
By the way, when did you squeeze in a few minutes to eat?

Fr Martin Fox said...

Just me:

Yesterday? I did fine, food-wise: I had something light for breakfast, some scrambled eggs for lunch, and the Knights had some pulled pork sandwiches around 9 pm. I usually don't eat dinner till pretty late, because I don't like to eat, then have meetings; I'd rather have my meetings, then go home and eat in peace.

Fr Martin Fox said...

About confessions:

I have to say, I don't get many who come. I do talk about the sacrament; I mention it in homilies often.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading your posts. Some of the very best, inspirational homilies I have heard are very simple and straight from the heart.
Then of course calling on the Holy Spirit to inspire your homily is essential.
God bless you for your work.
Karen : )