Simplify

St. Andre Bessette ParishFor a couple of weeks in June, I will be away on pilgrimage to Rome. I hope to be able to pass on some reflections along with a few images while I am on this journey. As I prepare for this retreat, here are some thoughts I would like to share.

A few years ago I met a pastor of a Baptist Church down the street from where I used to be and we went out for lunch. After introducing ourselves to one another, we shared our insights as well as the challenges in our ministry. We were both admitting how busy we were, and that we often had to multi-task in order to get things done. Making phone calls while checking emails and replying to text messages while in a meeting, etc. And he taught me a lesson that I will never forget.

Before he became the pastor of his church, he had worked for a major corporation. While working for this company, his CEO hired a professional consultant to help increase his productivity. For an entire week, the consultant followed him everywhere, including a conference he was attending, he flew first class right beside him. At the end of the week and tens of thousands of dollars of professional consulting fees later, the consultant presented his report. A very short and concise report that said: “Do one thing at a time!”

I think we all fall into this trap. We are expected to multi-task, but we do so at the expense of dividing up our attention as well as ourselves among many people and tasks. While we may have increased productivity, we have done so at the expense of quality.  We divide our attention into such small portions when really we should be giving our total and undivided attention to one person and one task at a time.

I am sure we can all relate to Martha, who was busy with many things. It is when she complained to Jesus about how busy she was and that her sister Mary should be helping her, that much to our surprise, Jesus praised Mary for sitting by His feet to listen and ponder His words, saying that she had chosen the “unum necessarium,” or the “one thing necessary,” and ends up scolding Martha for being anxious and troubled over many things.

During His public ministry, when the disciples became overwhelmed, He would take them aside to retreat from the crowds and would tell them to rest for a while. When our own schedules fill up and we are anxious and troubled by our many tasks, it is necessary to retreat from our busy lives and to retreat with the Lord. I pray and hope that this summer we will take that time, the time to retreat from our lives in this world and to turn to Christ as Mary did and feast on His words and His teachings.

The Churches we will be visiting while in Rome, the cobble stones we will walk upon, the monuments we will see, they all have stories to tell. They were built by people who wanted to serve God by giving the very best of themselves. It is hard to fathom but some of the Cathedral churches took over a century to build. Talk about enduring faith and hope! So as we embark upon our respective retreats, whether in a foreign land or here at home, I pray that we will all be inspired by those great examples of faith and love for God and also that we will seek to give the very best of ourselves to God in faith and love.

Upcoming St. Andre Bessette Events!

Golf Tournament

Our Golf Tournament is just around the corner! Mark your calendars: September 12th at the Cardinal Golf Club in King City. Tee Time is 8am so start practicing your swing. More information to follow.

Contact Person: Gaetano Barrila at 416.460.9595 or email gaetano@barrilalaw.com

Annual Gala Dinner

Date: Friday, November 13

Venue: Fontana Primavera

Ticket Price: $100 per person

Tax receipt of $500 will be issued for those purchasing a whole table of 10 people

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