Msgr. Daniel Arnold's words to us,
The Tool (part one)
It must be a universal experience: a person who needs a tool for a job and just does not have the correct tool in hand so they substitute the ratchet wrench for a hammer, a knife blade for a screwdriver, a pocket knife for a nail clipper or a child’s fragment of a crayon in lieu of a pen. We know that all those tools exist because the substitutes just do not work as well as the tool designed for the job at hand, but we will use the wrong tool anyway because getting the right tool seems too hard. Or maybe you bought a house from the homeowner whose most valuable tool must have been a DEWALT 18-volt Variable Speed Cordless Reciprocating Saw just like the professionals use, and his excursion into professionalism ended there. The house bears more battle scars than an Erie street after the spring thaw. There’s do doubt about it. Having the right tool at the right time, both makes the job easier and the results more appealing. Misters Sears and Roebuck amassed fortunes in evidence of the fact. So, if you want the satisfaction of an eye-appealing finish, consider using the right tool. But what if the right tool is not available or you believe it is not available? What can be done then? Is it possible that much of the polarization we currently experience as a nation is the result of not having the right tool for the job? The soul of a nation works like the soul of a person. The soul has two functions: creativity and adhesion. Our national creativity is in good working order, but the adhesive function is not. Some of the most creative people in our recent history might include Janice Joplin, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, Jimi Hendrix and Mother Theresa of Calcutta. Like Mozart, Janice, Elvis, Marilyn, Michael, and Jimi flamed out when their creativity was exhausted, and they felt that they had no way to recuperate what had been spent, no adhesion, so they came unglued. They all tried artificial means of recuperation, often including drugs and alcohol because they’re quick and the artificial means allowed these artists to continue burning their creative energy rapidly. It’s as if they were breathing pure oxygen because it allowed them to keep exhaling and not waste so much time inhaling. They were using the wrong tool for the job. They did not have the transcendent center that enables the recuperation that humans need regardless of their level of creativity. They died of exhaustion rooted in artificial resuscitation. What tool did Mother Theresa employ that enabled her to live the creative pace of a rock star for more than forty-five years without flaming out? She had a transcendent center. Let me explain. Spirituality is what you do with the fire God gives you, how you channel your Eros and Mother T. was one of the most erotic women of our age: not to be confused with sexy. In the creative/adhesive calculus, a person looses their balance (stasis) by spending too much of one to the detriment of the other: overspending creativity or living like an angel who needs no sleep leads to dissolution. Too much adhesion leads to petrification and you become a very dead fossil. As a nation, we are on our way to total dissolution. What glue is needed if we are to recuperate, if we are to recover our national and ecclesial stasis and overcome the paralysis that is hastening our dissolution? That is the topic for this column next week titled The Tool—part two.
The Tool (part Two)
As a Church, are we are on our way to total dissolution? What glue is needed if we are to recuperate from the devastation caused by our sexual scandal? In the previous column, the two functions of the soul were described as creation and adhesion. The energy we spend to make art and consume to keep stasis happens within the soul. Exhausting our creativity leads to total dissolution. We evaporate. Too much recuperation (think couch potato) and we petrify, we stop being creative and turn into fossils, relevant as a record of what has been but not of what is. Our spiritual center is the soul, the part of a human or a Church where the work is done when creating or recuperating. Doing soul work is hard, so we dislike it. Like Janice Joplin, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, and Jimi Hendrix, people will seek an express lane to recuperation – 12 items or less. In the case of our Church, our paralysis is the result of multiple, generational choices to avoid the hard work of conversion. Now is not the time to claim victimhood. That too is an express lane that will not heal. It’s a wrong tool for the job, like using a knife to tighten a screw – it will likely work for a while but will gum up the head of the screw and wreck the knife. Conversion is needed, not just another law or program.This idea is easier to grasp when you consider that spirituality has much to do with the way one processes pain. Step one in failure happens as the tool or machine that we relied upon in the past to transform our pain into something better seems too expensive. Yet it is the cross that transfigures, not the law. “In a culture with no cross/resurrection image, there is no meaning to our suffering” (Rev. Richard Rohr). That is the tool, the cross/resurrection image that allows us to hand over our pain to be transformed. Fr. Rohr continues, “pain that is not transformed will be transmitted.” The soul work needing to be done if we are to avoid dissolution or petrification is holding on to the pain until it transforms the person or the Church. You can understand why people would avoid this route. Victimhood enables them to think of themselves as taking the high road, to be superior. It is as if they would claim that they have been wronged and that the person or Church who has done the wrong must change. So, what is the tool that allows the transfiguration of the person or Church? It is having an active soul in which faith transfigures the person. As two or more are transfigured, Church is established. Any other tool is not up to the task. In his encyclical letter titled Spe Salvi, Pope Benedict XVI teaches that hope exists where faith is allowed. Only people who have faith live in hope. Hope is the condition of believers’ existence as love is realized. Our faith is that we have been redeemed by Jesus’ death. This is a time in which the grace of that sacrament needs appropriation. This is a time for us to stand, like Mary, at the foot of the cross and not be angry or disappointed with the Father of the Son, but trusting that, despite the heartbreak of human failure, the true Church is being transformed and revealed
Each week our bulletin has an additional page of information that we share. Take a moment and open the link (open here)
High school Catechist needed for grades 9/10. Teens have many challenges in their life. Sharing the gift of faith will help them face these challenges and deepen their faith, knowing that Christ is with them. Please consider this special ministry---contact Carol at 455-5853 for more information.
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The parish of Saint Andrew, a welcoming, joyful and renewing Catholic community, dedicates itself to serving all of God’s people with the love of Jesus Christ and His mission.
We welcome new members. To be a member of St. Andrew Parish you must be registered. All those out of high school should be registered individually. Parish membership is required to be a sponsor at Baptism and Confirmation, to be married in the parish, or to have a child baptized. Click here to view the registration form.
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3) open my parish Catholic life
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That should do it....
Call Beth with questions (454-2486)
If you are hearing Wedding Bells! Congratulations on your engagement! To see more details about being married at St. Andrew, please click at the Education menu and click again at Pre-Cana, and click at Marriage Preparation at St. Andrew. This is a print off of information you will need stating fees that are detailed. $300 for the use of the church if you are not a member, fees for the organist and cantor. It is difficult to mention costs, yet knowing how important it is for you to have the very best for your wedding day, we at Saint Andrew want to service you the very best as well. Please call 454-2486 with questions.
Weekday Masses are in The Annunciation Chapel (located in the white building by the parking lot). The Mass times in our Chapel are: 8:00 a.m. on Mon., Tues., Thurs., & Fri. There is No Wed. mass.
Saint Andrew and Saint Jude
Ken Adams; 814-440-7813
1:30-4:00pm every other Tuesday
Food and clothing are available.
We are able to serve anyone in the neighborhood within our Second Harvest boundaries and all parishioners in need.
THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH TO; GANNON UNIVERSITY, SEW WHAT SEWING GROUP & THE BOB EVANS GROUP ON UPPER PEACH ST. Your contributions mean sooooooooooo much to our clients!!
8:00 a.m. to noon
12:30 p. m. to 4:00 p. m.
Wednesday, closed all day.
Sunday: 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
Holy Day Eucharist
or as marked in bulletin