I discovered two deaths this year. That may surprise you knowing I am a priest and have frequent funerals for parishioners and others who I am asked to commemorate. But this year I was looking on line for a friend and found her obituary. I was stunned and cried. She was so beautiful, had two little girls, husband, served in The Salvation Army with me where we met. We studied at university together and had part-time jobs together.
Something most, if not all, people search for in life is happiness. It is something quite personal and difficult to enunciate for each person: dreams during our youth, security in later years. We know when we find something that makes us happy. But that in itself might not be something that will last for long. It might be a passing event, situation, or relationship. It could be the spouse that has made us deliriously happy for the last 54 years. We can search a very long time and never find what will make us happy – happy in the eyes of the World at any rate.
Rather than simply follow the winds of taste in our current world, we should step out on our own to seek out and read books that will be for us a help in our faith...what we need to do is be prudent in our reading materials. We need to have wisdom in discerning what we pick up, what we put before our eyes and mind.
We all need to be willing to work towards being the person with the broader shoulders. I walked away hurt and angry. I thought I would not be willing to enter into a conversation like that again. But that won't help in the long run. And after spending time reflecting on what I experienced, I knew I would have to face the same again one day. And would just have to find kinder means and thicker skin on behalf of the truth.
Social Media grows at an incredible rate. And the people who are members search for connections to a community, a community of their making in a sense. What was at one time a community limited to geography; perhaps of distance by letter or telephone. Now this community has been extended to a global community. "Only connect! ... Live in fragments no longer." - a rather truncated quotation of E.M. Forster, but something that denotes the reason our society wishes to drop the distances between each other and be a society together; even one that might have raging disagreements internally over vast distances.