Time is now to be getting priorities in life straight

By Father Dennis Meinen
View from the Scooter

“Yet, I know that, at a certain point in my life, I became convinced that Christ was saying to me what he had said to thousands before me: ‘Come, follow me!’ There was a clear sense that what I heard in my heart was no human voice, nor was it just an idea of my own. Christ was calling me to serve him as a priest.” – St. John Paul II

In his first homily as Supreme Pontiff, Pope Francis issued a call to all of the Catholic faithful, the people of God, everywhere to help him rebuild the church. He calls upon each one of us to focus and refocus on the things that are truly most important in life, specifically, the salvation of our immortal souls and where we are going to spend eternity. In other words, priority number one for all of us is precisely to get our priorities in life straight. We have been called by God and created by God to be saints.

I remember the beautiful quote of Dag Hammarskjold (1905-1962), a Swedish Statesman and the second Secretary General of the United Nations, who served from 1953 until his death in a plane crash in 1961.

“I don’t know who, or what, put the question. I don’t know when it was put. I don’t even remember answering. But at some moment I did answer yes to someone, or something, and from that hour, I was certain that existence is meaningful and that, therefore, my life, in self-surrender, had a goal.”

Yes. The call.

One of the most fulfilling parts of being a priest is calling and empowering and then witnessing those under your care, as they find and accept their mission from God and eagerly discover new gifts  and ways to give hope and joy to others. As we watch those under our care explode with eagerness when their baptismal vocational call is accepted, I pray: Send forth your Spirit and they will be renewed!

I love this song, “A Time Will Come For Singing,” based on Isaiah 35:5-6 and fulfilled in Jesus (Luke 7:21-22). And he said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.” This message of hope certainly will sustain the Christian who believes with resurrection faith.

“A time will come for singing when all your tears are shed, when sorrow’s chains are broken and broken hearts shall mend, the deaf will hear your singing when silent tongues are freed. The lame will join your dancing when blind eyes learn to see.

“A time will come for singing when trees will raise their boughs, when men lay down their armor, and hammer their swords into plows, when beggars live as princes and orphans find their homes.  When prison cells are emptied and hatred has grown old.

“A time will come for singing a hymn by hearts foretold, that kings have sought for ages, and treasured more than gold.  Its lyrics turn to silver when sung in harmony.  The Lord of Love will teach us, to sing its melody.”

The love you share is equal to the love you dare.

Father Dennis Meinen serves as chaplain at Holy Spirit Retirement Home, Sioux City, for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in the diocese and Calix; and Faithful Friar of the Garrigan 4th Degree Assembly of the Knights of Columbus, Sioux City.

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