Twilight Twitches

Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
The font for 'Independence Day' above is my attempt at giving you some little fireworks. The question is will the font make it through the various edits we need to get the bulletin done. Another mystery a lot like life!

I'm writing earlier than usual because I have another round in the hospital on the days I would normally be 'Twitching'. The people at Holy Cross are all great but the continuing saga of soggy lungs is so old it's got a beard.

So as I am thinking about 'Independence,' I realize the word can mean a whole lot of things depending on your situation, virtue and vice, both.

Dear Family,  
fetscherEver since Last Sunday night, I’ve been thinking about Father Joe Carney, a classmate of mine from the class of 1968.  He came from Euclid which is a suburb of Cleveland and I think he would have been delighted that the “Cavs” won the ABA championship.  How many years (like Boston) did the town go without a major sports championship?  When the Marlins won our first World Series from Cleveland in 1997, I don’t think I ever rubbed it in too much, but I can’t be sure if there wasn’t a chuckle or two.  

fetscherDear Family,
I am writing this Twitch one day after the nightmare that pierced the very fabric of city of Orlando as well as all the rest of us. I’m not sure what our attitudes and atmospheres will be like next weekend as we appreciate our fathers.

Not everyone in the world has a happy memory of their father. We hear memories of mothers recalled with deep affection, but maybe not so much with our fathers. I wonder why that is. Each story is personal.

As I think I have written here before, my memories of my father are wonderful, and my biggest regret is that he died so young – 53. Last year on May 15th he would have been 100 and I chuckle to myself wondering what he would have looked like with white hair. When he died, he had a mound of jet black hair that he used to take to the barber to bethinned! It is very obvious I did not inherit those genes.

There were times when my father was working three jobs to keep us fed, and he had ten mouths to feed. One of them belonged to his mother-inlaw. No one can write any mother-in-law jokes when it came to my Dad and Gram. She thought he was wonderful, and the appreciation was mutual. Even after 48 years, Dad’s image and memory is nothing short of a blessing.

So, when I think of last Sunday’s tragedy I’m wondering how many fathers are dealing with a loss of a child. It’s not hard to imagine that there might have been tensions that arose when a child told their parents that he or she was gay. After last Sunday the specter of regret over words spoken or unspoken are not hard to imagine.

We don’t need tragedies like this to help us think about our relationships, but in fact these horrors can shock us out of our complacency. Is there anything I need to say or do while I have the opportunity to do it? Sometimes, it seems you just can’t. Still it doesn’t stop you from bringing the whole business to the feet of the Lord. When it comes to avoiding stuff, “out-of-sight,  out-of-mind” is simply not a good outcome.

Like the times after 9/11, we will learn new vocabularies and ways of trying to deal with the unimaginable. I think one thing is helpful: to speak of the tragedy. Whether we call the event “the Orlando tragedy” or maybe “6/12” or goodness knows what, it will be important to talk about it because that’s what empowers us to deal with it.

What will be our response here at the south end of Fort Lauderdale Beach? I hope there is no one who hesitates about beginning with prayer. Sometimes I suspect we get a, “What good will that do?” mentality. It is something you are supposed to do, but will it
really help?

We are people of faith. That means we are able to reach out in darkness hoping that the Lord’s hand will be there to grab us. What better time than when it seems we are dealing with impossible threats?When we are at prayer we are laying our “unfinishedness” at the Lord’s feet. Who better than He to fill in the blanks? Our faith makes us ready to believe that even when we don’t know the answer, He is there holding us in his palm.

As happens so often, when I began this letter I had no idea in what direction I would ultimately go. The hope is that the Holy Spirit has something to do with what comes out.

Here I want to end by saying to so many fathers, “Well done.” May you never have to grieve for a child. May you continue to be life-giving and may your kids know the gift you give them with gratitude
in their hearts.
In Jesus,

sign frjim

fetscherDear Family,  
If you don’t remember anything else about this Twitch or about the Sunday homily which I hope you just heard me give, remember this: 1)  Be honest with yourself like David in the first reading; and  2)  Be thankful for God’s mercy and forgiveness like the woman in the gospel.  Almost by accident I discovered these two summary thoughts in a little book by Fr. Joe Robinson.  But there is more.  

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