Ever been distracted? It’s one thing to be distracted while walking down 42nd street in NYC, but how about being distracted at Mass? Okay, I confess I have been distracted at mass… pretty frequently. I know that sometimes I can be listening intently, trying to participate and all of a sudden my mind is somewhere else… maybe I’m counting the ceiling tiles or thinking about some ballgame of years ago….. I’m not intending to be distracted; I may even have prayed to pay attention, but …..
What’s going on? Sometimes distractions can come from just not preparing well, not paying attention ….. sometimes it can be the evil one trying to keep me from the things of God…sometimes it’s just the human condition. But what to do?
I know that if I’m going to hear a famous person speak, I will pay very close attention, and focus on every word that’s said …. a bomb can go off, but I’m not breaking my concentration….I don’t want to miss a thing. I remember having dinner with the divisional president of Pfizer back in the day. I was a young guy, recently promoted and was sitting next to him… I didn’t miss a word…my mind was ready, asking questions, listening for all the words of wisdom. Well it’s clear that I need to bring this same focus and intensity when I’m about to hear eternal wisdom from God.
Yet there is one distraction that sometimes happens to me, even when I’m paying close attention. I can be listening to the scripture or a good homily on the scripture and a thought jumps out at me… something I relate to…” wow, that is a great point, now I understand what is meant and how that applies to me, boy oh boy”….. it’s a very good moment. Yet, as I come back to earth, I’ve missed the rest of the reading or homily or talk. Is this good or bad? Hmmmmmm. St. Thomas Aquinas, any thoughts on this ?
Well I think this is where we need to trust the Holy Spirit. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to take us in the direction he decides will be best for us. Hopefully, even though we got off on Exit 10, it’s the right road to our goal. Maybe it’s a shortcut to our destination. We can pick up the rest of the message down the road.
So, what’s the point of this BLOG? Let’s do our “due diligence” in preparing to “hear and obey” the word of God… sharpening our pencil, sitting up straight, asking the help of the Holy Spirit, but then let’s trust in the Lord. We do our best, knowing that God is in charge ….. and that he loves us and will help us. And that is very good news.