Last Sunday at Mass, Fr. Tony’s homily could have been titled “Watch the Gap”, drawing an analogy between the railroad safety campaign and the issue of fractured or distant relationships. He spoke to us about minding the space that can develop in relationships. The space that keeps us from each other. He exhorted us to watch for those spaces, and try to mend them.
The first step is always to identify those open spaces in our lives, whether between us and another specific person, or between ourselves and another group. We may tell ourselves repeatedly that we have no problems with other people or other groups, but do our actions belie that position? Once we identify the spaces, we have to tend to them, and try to fill them in.
I try to be forgiving, largely because I am often in need of forgiveness. I have a theory that everybody in the world is trying as hard as they can, given the cards they have been dealt by nature and nurture, God and circumstances.
I would direct our attention to St. Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians, when he calls us to treat one another with gentleness and humility. While he was directing his comments to splinters and factions of the early Church, the concept can be generalized to all people. The best among us will do this. I am not the best among us, but we can follow their lead, and the lead of our saints, by studying their stories.
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