Most Reverend Jerome E. Listecki
Archbishop of Milwaukee
Be prepared for getting what you wish for! It was just a few weeks ago when we heard on the weather and news reports that we lacked the normal inches of snowfall for the season. Many people were saying that we just don’t have those old-fashioned winters with subzero temperatures and significant snowfall. Now, after our third winter snowstorm that dumped an additional five inches of snow, with more yet to come, and with subzero temperatures, it has reminded us that winter is far from over.
I wonder what those same individuals, who were lamenting the lack of snow and mild winter temperatures, are doing to respond to the people who are complaining about the difficulty in driving, the back-breaking work of shoveling snow, or about the various cancellations of planned events.
If we were in North Dakota, it would just be another normal day in the winter season. However, in Naples, Florida, it would be a catastrophe. It’s too hot or too cold, too wet or too dry, too sunny or too cloudy. It depends on where we find ourselves situated. But really, are we ever satisfied?
There is a wonderful story that was told by humorist Myron Cohen. It concerns a grandmother who was walking with her three-year-old grandson on the banks of the ocean. Suddenly, a wave surges over the walkway, sweeping her little grandchild into the sea. The helpless grandmother screams aloud, “Someone save my grandson; save my baby!” A gentleman, dressed in a suit, threw his jacket aside and jumped into the waters. The grandmother, now frantic, continued to yell, “Save my grandson; save my baby, oh God! Please save my little boy!” Suddenly, the man emerged with the little boy in tow, bringing him onto the shore. Seeing that the child was not breathing, the grandmother shouted, “Save my baby, please, save my boy!” The man, bending over the little boy, immediately began CPR and, in a moment, the little boy began to cough and cry. Looking into the eyes of the grandmother, the man smiled. Looking back at the man and her grandson, the grandmother said to the man, “He had a hat.”
It seems that is the way many treat life. Once whatever is occupying our attention is satisfied, we are off to our next concern. Our wants and desires never seem to cease.
Our spiritual life is the same. We petition God with all sorts of desires and needs. There is little doubt that most of our prayers are asking for something. As a loving God, He receives our requests like a parent who cares for His children. But, let us always be grateful for what we have in the moment, and realize that God always provides us what we need to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
Note: This blog originally appeared as the February 26, 2019 "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.