Monday, March 3, 2008

Monday again...and a sad one...

It's snowing again and the footing is treacherous.

I've had a wedding-interview with a middle-aged couple, both previously married, one widowed, one divorced...a May wedding in view. The bride lingered after her fiance sped off to a medical appointment. She is a parishioner in a former parish of mine, also the site of her first wedding, too much deja vu in that venue for the second wedding. It was good to talk to her.

Other than the two of us, the building was "uninhabited," so when the doorbell was rung by a man I didn't know -- and a man of superficially sinister aspect -- I didn't answer it but let her out "by another way."

However the stranger at the door proved to be the piano-tuner (we have these moments), who very sensibly went back to his car and called me on his cell, so I apologized and let him in. He is happily at work on Big Piano. We have Big Concerts in the next two weeks...lots of piano to be played.

Our Parish Discernment Committee is struggling with the wording of its report to the Examining Chaplains...and I am struggling with the facilitation of the Committee. One of the Committee members is dissatisfied with...I guess it would be the candidate's rhetoric. We posed hard questions in the interview...and from time to time the candidate's answers were, approximately, "I don't know" or "I don't know, yet." These were particularly around the "what would you do when...?" hypothetical questions. And most of the committee thought (and I thought)-- fair enough, he's not a priest yet, he hasn't done an internship, this is the kind of thing you learn on the job. But the one dissenting member was hoping to hear him say, to every question, "Well, I'd have to pray about that" or "I'd have to ask Jesus what to do about that".

And the report has to do justice to all the responses of the Committee. How to be fair, without appearing to privilege one person's unshared concerns over the positive responses of the other members.

And I'm trying somehow not to say that the language she was listening for, that would be "evidence of a genuine call," sounds to some of us like the jargon, the cant, of a particularly repellent kind of hypocrisy.

So I am gravelled by this, and I don't know how to respond.

And we lost another soldier in Afghanistan yesterday, not just from the local garrison but a local boy. I didn't know him -- but I know who was there to receive his body at the base hospital.

Not a good day.


Diane M. Roth said...

some sticky situations. I totally hear you about certain "religious words" sounding hypocritical. They sound too glib. I do prefer "I don't know" to "I'll ask Jesus about that."

Oh dear!

Annie's Mom said...

Hypocritical, to say nothing of Arrogant.

Thanks for the nice welcome!


Crimson Rambler said...

Thank you ladies both. Diane, I sent you a rant by was too long for a comment.

Kathryn said...

I'm sorry...that's alot of hard stuff for one Monday.

Patrick C said...

That is indeed very sad about the soldier.

Julie said...

Sounds like you've got your hands full. I'm on board about certain religious words sounding hypocritical. I think "I don't know" is a perfectly valid answer. During my comprehensive exams, I answered a question with "I don't know but I do know where to look to find the answer."

I'm sorry for the loss of your local soldier. It is heartbreaking even when you don't know him personally.

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Jan said...

Hard day. I'm sorry. ((CR))

more cows than people said...


Mary Beth said...

Ugh. Sounds like maybe she is not called to that committee?

Sorry about that day.