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Taking the Time to Adjust

On my way to a meeting, I was crossing a street near the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist and Cathedral Square when suddenly I heard from behind me, “I told you that you shouldn’t do that!” I turned to address the person. I wasn’t surprised because it’s not uncommon for people just to come up to me in a public place and begin talking to me

Archbishop Listecki


Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki
Archbishop of Milwaukee
 

 

On my way to a meeting, I was crossing a street near the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist and Cathedral Square when suddenly I heard from behind me, “I told you that you shouldn’t do that!” I turned to address the person. I wasn’t surprised because it’s not uncommon for people just to come up to me in a public place and begin talking to me. I consider it an honor that people approach me in a spirit of familiarity, as they would their pastor.

As I turned, I began to speak to him, “So, what is it that I wasn’t supposed to do?” It was then when I discovered that the person wasn’t speaking to me at all, but had a phone with earbuds. He looked at me strangely, as if I was invading his privacy.
 
It got me thinking how strange we would look to someone from the 1980s if we walked around apparently talking aloud to ourselves. It may appear to some that we had some sort of mental problem. I remembered when I was a kid (and I mean a little kid), the older people in my neighborhood thought there was an epidemic affecting teenagers. They worried that young people were losing their hearing because they saw them with these wires coming from their ears attached to a device. They didn’t understand that they were listening to those “new-fangled” inventions called transistor radios.
 
For most, it takes time to adjust to new inventions and technologies. Their introduction into our society can sometimes take decades. The horseless carriages, the flying machines, television – they are all commonplace for us today, but these instruments were marvels and bewilderments when they were first introduced. The difficulty with our modern society is that technologies are happening so quickly, we don’t seem to have enough time to adjust and integrate them into our lives before they are obsolete, or before a new wonder is produced.
 
It takes time to adjust to new movements or changes. When Vatican II was implemented, it took decades to integrate into the liturgical celebrations of our parishes. A person from the 1950s would have viewed some of the liturgical actions as strange, and perhaps even sacrilegious. Today, we may take those same changes for granted. However, it remains God’s Church, whether it’s the 1950s or today.
 
Human nature doesn’t change, and one thing is for sure – humans will continue to constantly reinvent their day-to-day situations with devices that sometimes make life easier or more mysterious.
 
God is both constant and changing in the eyes of humans, but at the very core, He is love. God’s love is mysterious, but certainly makes it easier to approach and grow closer to Him as we LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Note: This blog originally appeared as the December 11, 2017, "Love One Another" email sent to Catholics throughout the Archdiocese of Milwaukee by Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki. If you are interested in signing up for these email messages, please click here.

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