Paul Moore: Time is on God’s side — and why I’ve cut back writing for ‘Post’

In My Father’s House l Paul Moore

 I have less time now. I suppose that metaphysically, that is true of all of us . . . all the time. We are always progressing along the path of life that moves upward toward heaven, but first down to the grave.

Still, on a less metaphysical level, I have less time now simply because I went back to work full time. Which means, unfortunately, that I have less time for other important works which in and of themselves are just as — if not more — important.

Such as this column. Here I have to mention longtime Post editor Tom Dermody, recently retired from his full-time position, though still helping to corral us columnists. A few weeks ago, Tom emailed to remind me that I had a column due for the Nov. 6 issue. To my recollection, since I started with this bi-weekly column more than 100 issues ago in November 2018, he never had to do that before.

Tom offered me the option of finishing the column that weekend, or letting it go. With my working schedule and other commitments, I knew I would either have to chip away at it during lunch hours, or more likely on the weekend. I decided to let it go. That was unusual. Normally, I would have treated an unexpected deadline as an opportunity to stoke up the coffee pot and pump up the adrenaline. However, I’ve learned that isn’t always the healthiest lifestyle choice.

Tom was understanding. We agreed I would have the column ready for the next issue (this one). We had already previously agreed that it would become a monthly contribution, at least for the time being.

DIALING BACK ON ROLES

The column isn’t the only spiritual role I’ve had to dial back on. Previously in this space, I wrote about becoming an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion. I had asked Father Vien Van Do, the now-retired pastor of St. Mary of Metamora (this retirement thing seems to be catching) for prayers about a job for which I had applied.

We don’t have to do it all — just our part. God will combine that with others’ efforts to ensure His Kingdom will come, His Will be done.

Father said he would pray, but with a bit of a twinkle in his eye — seldom absent — he added, “You know, I have a job for you right now.” He needed extraordinary ministers to bring the Eucharist to shut-ins. As it turns out, it’s a job that’s pretty much always open at any given parish, in case anyone’s interested.

After Father Vien’s nomination on my behalf to Bishop Tylka was accepted, I was commissioned and trained. I then had the blessed privilege of bringing Communion to upward of 17 people in various locations at a local retirement community, which I have also written about.

Furthermore, as per residents’ preference, following the Lord’s example in Scripture, where the “breaking of the bread” invariably includes sharing the food of companionship, I would often visit briefly. As a result, eucharistic distribution often took about 2.5 hours on a Sunday morning . . . a little longer than I had anticipated. On the other hand, at that point I didn’t have to get up early five other mornings a week.

TIME HERE IS LIMITED

That all changed on Sept. 12. Father Vien’s prayer for my employment must have ricocheted around heaven. Though I didn’t get the job I asked him to pray about originally, out of the blue another opportunity arose at the local community college, for which I applied and was accepted.

If I could be permitted a small plug, I feel grateful to have a job where I can promote affordable post-secondary education for all, particularly for those to whom a degree, or a credential that will deliver a family-sustaining wage, might seem a bridge too far.

It’s a full-circle moment, because 32 years ago, I was that person. Divorced, and without a degree or credential in my 30s, I was — and not for the first time — unemployed, and at a dead end. Luckily, or more than that, blessedly, I was given a loan by my brother John to pay off my credit card debt. If not, I probably wouldn’t be writing these words now.

Still, no matter how much one values the opportunities one is given, there is always the earthly reality that time here is limited, and doing one thing precludes doing another. I will be cutting back on my eucharistic distribution schedule to about once a month. Thank God, it looks like others will be joining in this holy work.

There’s a lesson in there somewhere. We don’t have to do it all — just our part. God will combine that with others’ efforts to ensure His Kingdom will come, His Will be done.

See you in a month.

PAUL THOMAS MOORE is lead coordinator — communications and media relations with Illinois Central College. He and his wife Mary Louise attend St. Mary of Lourdes in Germantown Hills. He can be reached at paulthomasmoore@hotmail.com.

 

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