From the Desk of Fr. Jim
Change - a great philosophical issue. All things change, yet all remains the same. Another issue the Pre-Socratics wrestled with, was the so-called problem of change, and how things appear to change from one form to another. At the extremes, Heraclitus believed in an on-going process of perpetual change, a constant interplay of opposites; Parmenides, on the other hand, using a complicated deductive argument, denied that there was any such thing as change at all, and argued that everything that exists is permanent, indestructible and unchanging.
To whichever school of thought you hold allegiance, I think we can all agree on a fundamental human truth … change is hard!
We like our routine, our specified comfort zone; we are never willing let go of what we love, whether of a material or a personal relationship nature. Yet, from the moment of conception, we are a composite of a sameness that is constantly changing, birthing, maturing, dying and birthing anew; it is, in a sense our sharing in the Paschal Mystery of Christ’s life, death and resurrection.
The question to me, in most things, is the attitude we take towards the situation we find ourselves in at any particular moment. We can rant, rage and scream and ‘not go gentle into that good night’ (Dylan Thomas), or we can question, surrender, trust and ‘be patient toward all that is unsolved in (our) heart … [loving the questions but not now seeking the answers … living the questions now … and perhaps gradually] live… into the answers’ (Rainer Marie Rilke).
I remember reading an article shortly before I was transferred from my first assignment, about how spiders eat some of the web that they had previously spun as they prepared to weave a new web. Like a wedding, something old/something new, something philosophical; the sameness and yet a newness, something theological - Jesus’ glorified post-resurrected humanity, a sameness of person yet a transformation of humanity to its divine truth of being. I took it as a reassurance that with my upcoming transfer, that what I had learned in my four years in Blue Point would be the foundation of where I would start from in Levittown. While, it was a loss of the uniqueness of a special time, place and people, I discovered that the skills developed and affirmed in Blue Point, assisted me greatly in the six years in Levittown and that memories of special people became the start of a litany of special people from each of my assignments, with whom I still keep in touch.
What I am trying to say is, that with the moving of the youth presence and ministry at the Sunday 6pm to the Saturday 5pm, we will have a loss and a necessary time of bereavement for the loss of what was a special time and place but, like the spider spinning a new web, all that was, continues in ways yet to be fully realized or experienced. Change, ask the questions, live the moment, and pray, as we all live into the answers.