It’s been a strange day

Weather-wise, it’s glorious!  We really couldn’t ask for better.  Lovely skies, sun and all the forty shades of green combining to put on a display of growth and life.

It’s the Feast of the Visitation of Our Lady.  The second joyful mystery of the Rosary.  I always liked it.  The idea of Mary going to be with her cousin when she was most needed. So natural.  So right.  The decent and appropriate thing to do.

My mother was good for visiting people.  In latter years she’d ask me to go to visit some of her relations and friends. Though my initial reaction might have been rooted in my being comfortable in front of the TV and somewhat less than positive, I always agreed.  More than that, I was always glad that I went with her to visit.  I got as much, if not more, from the visits than she.  I liked her for her desire to keep in touch with people. I think it’s something that has become part of my own life too.

Like most people my phone is full of numbers and names.  I even find it difficult to delete the names of people who have died.  It seems so final to click “erase” and even more-so to click “yes” when you are asked if you are sure you want to do this.  I don’t like to erase contacts.  That said most of them are just there, resting in the phone’s memory but, more importantly, having a place in mine.

From time to time, I decide to get in touch with some of these names that I might scroll through in search of a number.  If I happen to be in the place where one of them or perhaps the family live, I might see it as an opportunity to meet for a quick visit or at least say hello. So I might dial or text.  It’s always lovely to hear a voice breaking the ringing tone and to begin that conversation that is, all too often, long overdue.  Equally the reply to the text that says, in more than words, “good to hear from you.”  I really believe we should do our best to keep in contact with people, especially those who have shaped us and shared the road with us.

There are times though when the phone rings out or the text goes unheeded.  You begin to wonder – no, I begin to wonder, if maybe the number has changed it’s been so long.  A few attempts, no response.  Maybe then a mutual friend or relative is met and when the number is checked, it’s the same one.  The no response is just that “no response”.  I find that difficult to be honest and wonder what happened.  The answer to that is rarely found. There are some who feel that’s the way life goes, you meet people, walk a bit of the road and then part ways.  There’s no denying the truth in that but I’d like to think, the opportunity to reconnect remains.

This afternoon I met with some priest friends for a Prayer Meeting.  We do this once a month (though I’ve missed a few to be honest) and the Scripture Passage for today was 2 Timothy Chapter 1. Paul is writing to Timothy and encouraging him in his ministry.  He’s telling him that the light he received must be fanned into a flame and allowed shine on and for those around him.  He’s telling him as well, that he has received a very special gift and that he needs to protect this with God’s help and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  Towards the end of the chapter, Paul laments that he has lost contact with people who were once his friends and who now seem to want to avoid him.  He remembers how good these people were to him and seems genuinely saddened to have lost their support and friendship.

So today, I’ve been thinking a bit about people with whom I’ve lost contact.  I realise that’s the way life goes and realise too how fortunate I am to have the loyalty of my family and friends but there’s still something of a loss in lost contact.

Yeah, a strange sort of a day!  I think its roots are in the visitation of Mary to Elizabeth.  It would be hard to imagine Elizabeth not opening the door or, if the story were moved on to now, not responding to the text that says “I’m going to visit you …. stick on the kettle!!”

I liked Mary’s approach to contact – being with people when needed and bringing something positive to their door. I still do …..

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