Monday, July 28, 2008

Out Of Little Acorns Great Oaks Grow

[What follows is a cautionary tale from the parish of my childhood. It first appeared in the Sunday bulletin of January 18, 1970. There is obviously much more to the story. But the late Father Carl Steinbicker, who was pastor at the time, and whom I first assisted at the Altar of God, saw fit to publish what he did, with emphases appearing then as they do here. The other priest to whom he refers, who shall remain unnamed for our purposes, is now a prominent cleric in the Archdiocese. The incident mentioned at the end was an ongoing labor dispute, where at the time there appeared no end in sight. -- DLA]

A parable about the unsearchableness of God's ways. Once there were two priests, an older and younger one; they lived together in a beautiful house; they said Mass, and preached, and administered the sacraments in a beautiful Church; they had two beautiful schools where they both taught the children about Jesus and His Church; the younger one did a little more talking in the schools than the older one.

And yet, he hardly ever talked to the older one in their home or anywhere else; when asked why by the older one, he said that there was no single subject on which he agreed with the older priest, so there was nothing for him to talk about -- nothing about God, or the Pope, or what was taught in the school, or what was in the papers or in the bible, just nothing.

Of course, over several months this deliberate silence let several little devils in the door -- suspicion, mistrust, unfriendliness, unco-operativeness; they dwelt in that house, and soon got roaming around outside too. The older priest saw them, but could not exorcise them; the younger priest saw them but paid no attention to them. So finally the older priest wrote his Bishop to move him to a little Church where he would be alone.

After several months, the Bishop moved the younger priest! Immediately there was an uproar among all those outside the house to whom the younger priest talked very much; letters were fired off to the Bishop objecting -- "This was a great blow" etc; the older priest was blamed; "He's responsible, he wanted him out" etc. A real revolution was cooking up, when the older priest just quit and went away. And other priests whom nobody knew and who knew nobody came to live in the beautiful house, and to say Mass, and preach and administer the sacraments in the beautiful Church -- and religious life went on much the same as always, as weak as ever!

Moral: Silence may be golden -- but look where it's getting General Electric.

1 comment:

Deborah DeCesare said...

Thank you David, for allowing me to believe in heroes; you sir are mine!