I went to an all girl Catholic school the minute my mom could get a bow stuck to my head. After 17 years of formal education in the ways of the Lord I have Catholic reflexes, but I can’t recite a single Bible story, all the deadly sins, or all seven sacraments. I was a terrible listener, spending most of my time in the pew looking at people’s hair and clothing. During catechism at school I daydreamed. Fortunately, I remembered what I had to for my first communion and confirmation.
At my semi-annual visit to church yesterday, I tuned in at the end of mass when the priest said, “Go forth and serve the Lord.” I’ve never listened to the last minutes of a mass, always anxious to get out the door at the head of the line. Those words sailed past me a thousand times. It’s a shame because they sounded great yesterday. Clear, simple, and something I could remember and do.
Unfortunately, I didn’t do any serving after mass, unless you count dinner, and I gossiped about a neighbor, bad gossip. Now it’s Monday. How am I going to serve the Lord? It sounded so easy yesterday. My cousin Susan, who is a life coach, would suggest making a plan. If only for this week, I can certainly make a plan for serving the Lord.
Then I remembered that we’re supposed to make serving the Lord a way of life. This is bigger than kindness, right up there with unconditional love. That priest certainly was asking a lot of us. Here’s the plan for today. It’s listening hard to people and not giving advice. I just love to give advice, and I find that really listening to people can be excruciating at times. I always want to jump in with an answer, one of my brilliant solutions. Today I am going to try to listen with both ears and an open heart.