I'm a 36 year old IT Manager at a University in Providence, RI who is currently discerning a priestly vocation.

Take a look inside

Take a look inside

You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.
— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Brothers & Sisters,

I've often spoken about how we should lift up our neighbors and how the choices we make can ripple across time and people. Counter to those arguments is the thought that there are just some things we cannot control and to be focused on those things outside of our control could be an act of futility.

Let me clarify that last statement for you a bit. I don't mean that thinking about a problem outside of your control and trying to come up with a solution, practice or way to reduce the risk of it happening again is a fruitless endeavor. What I've just described is quite the opposite. Sometimes it takes those events for a fire to light within a person and for them to see more clearly what they might be called to do. Almsgiving is a beautiful thing and one that should be embraced by all of us.

However, I do firmly believe we need to not hold the weight of the world on our shoulders when something happens that is outside of our control. Yes, of course, it is unfortunate that whatever bad thing happened, no one is discounting that. I do feel though that through that sorrow perhaps we can find a way to help and try to do what we can to move the needle in a more positive direction. I think this is where people often get caught up in outrage, and then they bounce to the next thing that happens, and the cycle repeats over and over again.

What if the next time something outside of your control happens you examined it a bit deeper. Both from an almsgiving perspective and the internal view of yourself. We're affected by outside forces every day, and I wonder how many of us actually take the time to think about what those things are and how they affect us. You might very well be passing over something you're passionate about but never knew you were because you're so caught up in anger and outrage about what just happened. The same thing can be said for events that bring joy. Watching someone or a group of people deliver happiness to others can often be a catalyst for you to start or join a group that seeks to also bring joy to people.

The truth is that we must learn to balance our innermost feelings with what we're being called to do. Feeling angry without any kind of closure of that feeling will leave a lasting impression on you. Suddenly you'll find yourself feeling that it's ok to just be angry without reason and just be mad at the world. This doesn't help you, and it certainly doesn't help those around you. I was this angry person for quite some time until I realized that without action on the other end and a thorough examination of why I was angry I was just this storm cloud that was always raining for no reason. The next time you feel yourself being affected by what is going on in the outside world, the world outside ourselves, look inward and try to discern for a moment why you're feeling that way.

Yours,
Jeff

Muddy Water

Muddy Water

You can have it all

You can have it all