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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

A Better Place?

Yesterday, while a quarter of the people of the "United" States of America were voting, word came  that a parishioner had been admitted to a hospital with chest pains. I went to check on her. It turned out that she had already been through a corrective procedure, was in a better place, and looking to go home in a day or so.

On the elevator back down to the lobby I struck up a conversation with a woman with an armful of cards, other papers, and a flower arrangement. Her forty-something daughter had been in the hospital for a month and was going home - under hospice care. I offered empty words of consolation for which she thanked me. Her parting words were, "At least she will soon be in a better place."

A better place. We all seem to be striving for a better place. Some walk across Central America and Mexico escaping violence, poverty, and oppression most Americans can't even imagine. Many Americans simply want adequate health care, or security in old age. There are others simply looking for meaningful work that provides shelter, food, and comfort for family. There are even those who appear to have everything anyone would could want or need, yet they too look for an even better place. And yes, some look to death for their better place. We all have an idea, hope, or dream of a better place.

The elections are over. Some people feel, at least for now, they are in a better place than they were yesterday.  Many are still walking, still wanting, still looking, still needing a "better" place in life. Our hope, to quote Thomas Merton, lies in "...labor[ing] with inexhaustible patience and love, in silence, perhaps in repeated failure, seeking tirelessly to restore, wherever [we] can, and first of all in [ourself], the capacity of love and which makes [humanity] the living image of God.”

There is a better place.   

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