Tuesday, July 19, 2016



"Each person has inside a basic decency and goodness. If he listens to it and acts on it, he is giving a great deal of what it is the world needs most. It is not complicated but it takes courage. It takes courage for a person to listen to his own goodness and act on it."
Pablo Casals

It occurred to me the other day that I see a whole lot of goodness in the people I meet in a week's time. Their goodness reminds me of the goodness that makes you want to lick your plate when you have experienced something truly delicious. 

Yes, we may experience a lot of meanness in a week's time and that meanness may get the lion's share of attention, but if we pay careful attention we will no doubt notice that we also experience some remarkable morsels of goodness that are worth savoring as well. Let me count some ways!

1. The people who have generously supported me in my mission projects have simply been amazing. I know that behind much of it has been personal support to me as much as it has been to the the people down in the islands.
2. The people who constantly affirm me in the writing of my column "An Encouraging Word" are lavish in their praise and appreciation. They make me feel like I am making a difference in their lives - something that every priests lives to hear.
4. My family is a constant blessing, a quiet presence that I know is always there should I ever need them. I am proud of the them and they let me know that they are proud of me and never leave that in doubt. We never fight or argue or forget each other. Their support in my life is like the sun, even on those days when I don't see it, I still know it is there.
5. The residents of the nursing homes I visit inspire me constantly with the way they handle their situations with courage and grace. They readily show their appreciation for the time I make for them. The people who care for them are heroic in giving those residents the care and attention they deserve and need. Their work is not easy, but they seem to see it more as a ministry than a job. They are inspiring to watch.
5. My new friends down in the islands have accepted me and welcomed me in a way that I find fascinating. They have brought a new enthusiasm for ministry into my retirement years that keeps surprising me.
6. Former parishioners, as well as seminarians and college students, who call me out of the blue,  send me cards and letters, contact me on the internet and light up when I run into them unexpectedly, are gifts in my life that keep on giving.
7 My circle of friends who help me maintain my computer, my blog, my column, my car keep me going and make me look good. Others comfort me when they get mad when I do not call them when I need help. 

In short, there is so much goodness out there. The people in my life are unbelievably good to me. It all leaves me filled with gratitude, appreciation and pride. I filled blessed, fortunate and privileged to be the beneficiary of so much acceptance, love and kindness.  They make my life not just "finger licking good," but "plate licking good!"  

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