Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Inspiration Comes at Different Times

Dear Parishioners,

Composing a column each week is not an easy task.  Sometimes I feel inspired and a message comes rather quickly.  At other times, I can sit and wait, think and ponder, hope and pray that something relevant and pertinent will come to mind to share with the congregation.

The fact is: inspiration comes at different times.  I can’t always predict where and when.  Most times, I simply have to be open and receptive until something, perhaps unexpectedly, comes to mind.

I have conceived various topics when at prayer before the Blessed Sacrament in church.  I have gotten up in the middle of the night and an idea was there dancing in my head.  I have been struck with an idea or two when driving or sitting in my car:

Excuse me for a moment.   Time to get some gas for my car.
Can you fill it up with regular, please?   Thanks.
So sorry about the interruption!  Now, where was I?  Oh—inspiration!

Ideas have crossed my mind while I was walking on the beach.  Sometimes while I’m taking a shower, I am bathed with inspiration.  Often, in the hospital when visiting a patient, thoughts may turn to serious matters like the meaning of suffering, compassion, healing, and God’s mercy.  Then there are those times when I am teaching in a classroom and a student’s question or comment leads to an interesting topic:

“Father, when do you think Jesus is going to come back to earth?”  “Did Joseph and Mary have other children?”  “What is hell like?”  “Do you like being a priest?”

Inspiration—what I like to think of as God’s breathing into us—is not limited to any one place or to a particular time.  What I—what we—need to do is to make ourselves available and receptive so that God can speak to us—so that we can hear His voice within us.  Often, but not exclusively, God speaks in the quiet—in the silence and depths of our hearts.  There are certain places that seem to be more conducive to allowing God to speak.  After all, Jesus was known to go up the mountain, to walk along the seashore, to pray in the garden and even to spend time in the desert—besides going to various synagogues and to the Temple in Jerusalem.

Making ourselves available and receptive involves an act of the will.  We need to set aside the time to pray as we watch and wait for the Lord.  We need to make an effort to go to Mass frequently—never knowing when a passage from Scripture, an insightful homily or the kindness of another parishioner might be a catalyst in our lives.  We should continually call to mind the presence of God in our lives no matter what we are doing, realizing that God is always mindful of us as He carries us in the palm of His hand.  (See Is. 49: 15-16)

Really, you never know where and when inspiration may occur!


Fr. Ed Namiotka


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