From the Pastor’s desk—July 17, 2022

Fr. Ray Smith, CMF
Parochial administrator

Dear Sacred Heart Family

The great value of our faith is that it gives us a way forward in this world on our way to the next. Despite our current obsession to always move forward, from time to time we move backwards. Many, if not all, of us in the last couple of years have had the feeling we are, at best, treading water. How does one survive in this challenging time?

I think the conventional wisdom “save for a rainy day” speaks to our current reality. This wisdom traces back to Genesis 41 when David admonishes Pharoah to save during abundant times for the leaner times of famine. He reminds him and us that famines, economic crises, and other disasters will inevitably come for us who live in this Paradise Lost.

Finding peace in troubling times comes down to, how did we prepare for a rainy day and what do we do now that it is here? Our faith once again gives us the answer, simplicity. Can I take this time of rising prices as a moment to live more simply? In the letter to the Philippians Paul tells us “… I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live with little, and I know how to live with plenty…” (Phil 4:11b-12a)

Being content with what we have not only allows us to live the present moment with peace, it inoculates us against a host of sins from envy and jealousy to greed. The modern world is just catching up to this idea with the sense of mindfulness.

The daily practice of gratitude (counting our blessings at the end of the day) is another way to grow in peace with what we have. If we can let go of expectations of all the things that should have happened or all the things we used to have, we can move further toward the peace that we all seek. Gratitude will never come to us if we compare ourselves to others or what we used to have, this only robs us of our peace.

None of this is to speak about those who live in extreme poverty and hopefully if anyone is in this situation, they will have the courage to share their needs with others in the community and our church. Our food pantry and St. Joseph’s is open every week so that no one goes hungry as well as the monthly MealTrain sponsored by our Outreach Committee and Heart to Heart.

Simplicity is a quiet invitation to focus on what is important, and to let go of the extras for a time, if necessary, like name brand products/labels, how we celebrate birthdays/weddings or being happy with
leftovers. If we are able to do this, we will enter a freedom and peace money cannot buy. For many of us, our rainy day has come, but a simpler life can be the silver lining in the clouds that reminds us Jesus we have all we need.

With a heart for Mission,
Fr. Ray