The Long View

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view. 

The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
it is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction
of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying
that the kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the church’s mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation
in realizing that. This enables us to do something,
and to do it very well. It may be incomplete,
but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference
between the master builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own. Amen!

Attributed to Archbishop Oscar Romero, written by Bishop Ken Untener 

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About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
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2 Responses to The Long View

  1. Lisa Musolin says:

    This is a nice reminder for all of us with Type A ‘perfectionist’ personalities!
    –Father Paul, after mass in St. Clairsville, OH, Saturday evening, I asked Father Tom if we had a blog just to make sure that we did not up here that I was unaware of; we do not. Anyhow, I told him about yours and that I had officially met you last week at home and learned of it. He smiled and told me that he knows you and that he went to school with you. It’s a small world! I am going to try to email him somehow with the link when I get a chance (in a rush now). Thanks again!

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