Spring is the time to start anew. It is a time for all of us to see, smell, and perhaps feel, all the growth around us. So much of the growth is obvious: the leaves on the trees, the smell of the lilacs and other flowers, and the sound of the rain as it nourishes the plant life. Other growth, such as that of the human soul, is more indirect.
Spring is beautiful because it also provides opportunities for the renewal of ecological units in the natural world. We as individuals, much like these plants, have the opportunity for renewal in our own lives and the spirit that is within us.
For many, the activities of growth and life around us during this time trigger a sense of review as well as a focus on new growth in our own lives. As I look forward, I cannot avoid the media and the troubles in the world, nationally and locally: the continued wasting of life in Israel and Palestine, Africa, the Philippines, and many other parts of the world including the United States.
Nationally, I also cannot avoid the troubles of my faith community, the Catholic Church, and the direct negative impacts of clerical misbehavior on so many lives. And even more are affected less directly. Past advice given about counseling and its effects on long-term behaviors, and today’s message of no return to the environments of temptation, may lead to more openness and honesty, hopefully renewing our spirits and inner beings. We must not bury our heads in the sands of life. It will hopefully make us more willing to share responsibility and increase our diligence to look out for others to refuse to allow manipulation, abuse, degradation, misuse of relationships, and the selfishness of one’s own desires.
Recently, focus has been on the clergy taking advantage of positions of respect and power. We must all focus on our positions, the power we have, and how we will renew our commitment to respecting those we come in contact with. We must renew our respect of human beings at every corner of our journey in life. Only then can we continue to reduce racism, chauvinism, prejudices, and the destruction of lives and spirits around us.
Take the time to really look around to see, hear, smell, and feel the greatness of life around us. At the same time, see the realness of the less-than-desirable elements. Choose to reenergize yourself. Choose to make a difference in the community where you live. Choose to assist others in their efforts to change the wrongs.
We can only control our own choices. Choose to care.