If you have attempted to call us at the rectory/parish office during the past week or so, you most likely had difficulty getting us. Talk about a frustrating situation! What happened is that we are getting billed regularly for an additional phone line which is not ours. I have no idea how or why this is happening. For quite some time we tried to correct the matter in various ways (e-mails, phone calls) without success. The only way we finally got anybody’s attention is when we stopped paying the bill. Unfortunately, the phone company then stopped supplying phone service to us. Wasn’t it Isaac Newton who said that every action has an equal but opposite reaction?
At one point last week I was on the phone for three consecutive hours, having been transferred eleven different times before I finally got to an actual human being who was nice enough to submit a ticket to have the situation investigated! Most of the time I had to deal with an automated service that seemed to loop me in a circular path to Gehenna. Pressing 5 (as directed) gave me a busy signal. Pressing O (as in Operator) was not recognized and disconnected me. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried!
Customer service is our number one priority! Gag me!
I apologize to anyone who was inconvenienced or frustrated by our recent inaccessibility by phone. My patent statement about all modern technology is: it is wonderful . . . when it works! I am currently considering subscribing to carrier pigeon or pony express. I used to laugh and make fun of that soup commercial which showed people using two tin cans and a string for communication: Ring! Ring! Not anymore. They are definitely onto something big!
Now that I had the chance to vent my frustrations in writing—very therapeutic—I need to focus on some deep spiritual insight to impart to you this week: thank God we do not need the phone company to communicate with God. Prayer is so beautiful. And so easy! No long distance charges; no tangled cords; no poor reception (unless it’s on our part). We are never put on hold and made to listen to some tortuous muzak selection. Customer service is always very personal. And best of all—no exorbitant bill from the phone company!
In all seriousness, I hope that you take the Lenten season to spend more quality time in prayer with Our Lord. Whether it’s in your room, while taking a walk, before the Blessed Sacrament or while stuck in traffic—pray, pray, pray! God is always aware of us. We need to tune into Him and become conscious and aware that we live in His presence.
Building any worthwhile relationship—even with God—takes time, effort and much patience. We need to work at it every day.
If you need any additional help fostering any and all of the above three conditions—just try contacting your phone provider!
Fr. Ed Namiotka