Twilight Twitches

Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
The mystery of suffering will always elude me, at least on the level of my emotions. After the storms go through and I see the devastation, I say, “Why, Lord, and why to the same people?”

I feel relieved that we didn’t get it as badly as we thought we would the first time and that we will probably hardly notice the second pass. (As usual, I’m writing five days ahead of when you will read this.) My relief is submerged by the knowledge that if the storms don’t hit us, they hit someone else, probably people far less equipped to deal with them than we are.

The one shaft of light that penetrates all this suffering for me, is the knowledge in faith that God is not orchestrating misery for his amusement. ‘He’s been there and done that’ when Jesus suffered and died. Jesus totally identified with the human condition. He did it at the Jordan when he told John to baptize him “for the sake of righteousness.” In other words, I stand here in solidarity with broken humanity.

fetscherDear Family,
I’m writing on Labor Day - last Monday, wondering if this letter will even see the light of day. Right now it looks like Irma might be coming our way. As they do every Monday, Annie and Cynthia and Bill F. came to count the collection. Holidays are no exception it seems.

I couldn’t help but think that no matter what the impending and/or threatening event that may be overshadowing the future, little things like counting the collection still go on. (By the way, no cheap shot intended regarding the size of the collection...)

Dear Sisters and Brothers,
You are reading a Twitch provided by one of us (a St. Sebastian parishioner) because our Pastor is completing his well earned vacation. I will try to be relevant as well as inspirational.

Several weeks ago, on Trinity Sunday I heard Monsignor Fetscher say, “if you want to know what you believe, listen to what you pray.” That sentence resonated with me because so often in church we miss the opportunity “to listen to what (we) pray.” Monsignor has tried to increase our awareness (and listening) by slowing down our reciting of the Lord’s Prayer. However, there are some who continue to rush through their recitation to see who can finish fastest. Not only does this prevent listening to what is being prayed but - at best - it disrupts the sense of community that is conveyed by praying together.

Dear Sisters and Brothers,
In the Gospel this weekend, we hear Jesus asking Peter, “But who do you say that I am?” From all indications, Peter gives an immediate response: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Twenty centuries later, the question is still very relevant for each of us as followers of Jesus: “(Your name here), Who do YOU say that I am?”

We can repeat Peter’s response, and we would be correct. Jesus IS the Christ, the Son of the living God. That’s a pretty intellectual statement. How does that filter down into the heart, into the very core of my being?

canaanitewomanDear Sisters and Brothers,
As I sit at the computer, staring at a blank page on Monday evening, I realize (once again) what a gifted Pastor we have. Monsignor Jim is able to write a fresh “Twitch” every week in addition to preparing a homily for the weekend Masses, as well as for the daily Masses. And here I sit, staring at a blank page. Come, Holy Spirit...

fetscherDear Family,
Thanks to the Men’s Club, summer brings us two major projects. One is finished already, the re-windowing and then painting of what we call Father Stephen’s house, - even though he’s been gone for four years. His presence blessed us. Maybe we should call it the St. Stephen House. Patricio did a great job of filling cracks. It came out very well, and we were blessed to find a really good painter who didn’t blow us out of the water with the cost. (I’d happily recommend him to you upon request.)

fetscherDear Family,
Do you remember Charlie the cactus? He stood guard on our altar during Lent four or five years ago. Well, we planted Charlie on the west side of the parish center, and low and behold, we think maybe Charlie is really Charlotte. As I write, there are some cactus pups springing out of C’s base as well as a flower about to bloom. In this world of missile launches and range projections, it’s nice to have something that brings a smile.

Although I’m writing this before she gets home, I think another occasion for a smile will be Annie’s return from a well-deserved break. In her stead, Cynthia did a great job. She was telling me today about all the things that Annie planned out, laid out and carried out before she left. We both decided that it sure made our job easier.

fetscherDear Family,
So, what do Judy Fisher, Rosemary Guerin, Ann Murry, Chuck Wobby and Armando Rodriguez (grilling “grates,” get it? grate), Frank Krauser, (czar of frozen procurements), Connie Reed, Liz Siegle, Jeanette Harris and grandson Christian, (Imagine! - a young guy who does dishes,) Carolyn and Bob Dentz, Loretta Polizano, Frances Salerno, Noelle McInery, (I hope I spelled that right), and Sue Schierer (the Ice Cream queen) all have in common? THEY THROW A PRETTY GOOD PARISH BARBEQUE/ICE CREAM EXTRAVAGANZA! Annie was there in spirit because Cynthia represented the ‘front office’ very well.

fetscherDear Family,
So how are things going while Annie is away? Actually, I don’t know because as I write she hasn’t left yet. Nevertheless, by the time you read this I hope she is having a good time and a good rest away from the merry-go-round of broken pipes and termites and A.C. fuses and Geiger beetles (not just any ordinary beetle.) You are forbidden to contact her by email, text message or smoke signals.

...And to ensure that she will really have a good time, I am telling you now that things are going absolutely fantastic. Of course, I add not so fantastic as they would be if she were here, but fantastic nevertheless! That’s my story. I’m sticking to it, and that’s the story all of you will tell her upon her return. Capichi?

fetscherDear Family,
First, my thanks to Annie for “guest-twitching” the last two weeks. I thought both of her reflections were really good and if you didn’t read them you can go online to the parish website and catch up. < > (If you don’t put “fl” in the address you’ll get St. Sebastian in Akron, Ohio, a wonderful parish if judging by their website means anything.)

Last Sunday, I quoted Jeanne-Marie Guyon, a 17th century French mystic. At the risk of grossly oversimplifying, a mystic is someone who develops a very focused way of living which recognizes a basic truth about human nature. As the Catholic Encyclopedia says, “There is in our soul a capacity for more truth and perfection than we can ever acquire through the knowledge of created things. We realize that God alone is the end of man, that in the possession of God alone we can reach the satisfaction of our aspirations.”

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