About ten in the evening...

It's about ten in the evening here in Minnesota, the last day in March and the snow is piling up outside. They say we'll get around seven inches before its all over. Its not that much of a problem, though, because these spring snows hit hard and go away fast. Down the river a ways it's a much bigger deal because that water has to go somewhere and that somewhere eventually is the Mississippi and you can already see the river swell.

Of course its Monday, the day when good Priests are supposed to take off and rest a bit but I have two jobs and so every day is a work day. The boss was sick today and will be tomorrow so it looks like I'll just keep moving until someone yells "Stop!" Busy is still better than bored.

There are the usual things on my mind, people in the hospital, all the calls I should be making but can't. This traveling thing has its own tradeoffs. We have more money now then ever and we're spending it on things that really need to be done but I'm away and so many of the normal pastoral things just fall through the cracks or I try to catch up on Saturday and Sunday if I can. As is usual I'm just plain tired but somehow I find a way to make it through. No complaints, though, because I knew this was how it was going to be when I signed on.

The truth is I have much for which to be thankful. Yes, it would be nice to have the money and people and facilities of a larger church. And for sure it would be great to drive a few minutes rather then a few hours to get home. But the people of St. Elias are good. Sometimes when a parish gets small the people do as well but there are a fair amount of folks at St. Elias who really do want something better for their parish and they're willing to work hard.

We're just in the process of refinishing the basement at St. Elias and the members who've worked on it have done a magnificent job. Everything up to date, walls fixed, new electrical, the works. I hope this is a more then just a renovation. I hope the people see what they, when they give their hearts to God and their hands to work, can do. There's more to fix and more to clean but the Ladies Group, just restarted this year, is getting busy on the kitchen and I anticipate this to be a summer of building and growth. Boy would I like to have a benefactor or a lottery win to kick it all into high hear!

My hope is that the people of St. Elias will keep on pushing forward. My fear is that somewhere along the line they'll lose hope. May angels protect us! Anyway I need to make calls tomorrow and start working on the Liturgy. There will be snow to shovel and lots to do at work. My cat is already asleep on the bed and I should be too.

Lord watch over your flock at St. Elias through this night and in all the days to come. Have mercy on their sinful Priest, and establish us by Your grace.

Good night.

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