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Keeping Balance

Someone once told me a story about a Priest (I asked not to know his name) who was extremely friendly to people. The problem with his "friendliness" was that it came at the cost of any sense of authority in his priestly duties, or reverence toward God. Another Priest that I knew was very clearly reverent toward the Lord and had a good sense of his authority as the "father" of his parish, but was often cold and insensitive to his people. Why is it that so many clergy swing one way or other but rarely find that middle balance?


I will open myself up here: this is one of my fears. When I have to be direct, I worry about being too harsh; when I have to be gentle, I worry about being a pushover. It is a part of my regular prayers, that I will be both personable to my people and responsible to my calling. I know that I am not perfect in this, but I want to be. This means, of course, that there will be times when I am trying to lead someone in what the Church teaches, and they will say that I am "impersonal" or "uncaring" (because they see only one side). There are other times, however, that I will try to be gentle with someone who is hurting and someone else will complain that I did not "come down hard" on that person. A Priest cannot please all the people all the time (and St. John Vianney said if he did, he would be in sin!).


Finding that balance is difficult for every one of us. Where are you in this? There are places where you need to be gentle with others, and places where you need to be firm. We each need to try not to swing just to one side or the other. In the few times that we really need to stick temporarily to just one or the other, we need to be careful not to stay there. This is what happens all too often, and this is why you hear about Priests like I mentioned at the beginning; all hot, or all cold.


Parents especially need to think about the importance of this balance. This is one of the reasons why God ordained marriage for one man and one woman -- they help to balance each other. It is impossible for those in sodomite (or sodomette) relationships to find a proper balance in parenting, regardless of what their personalities are like. Meonly one side showsn and women are wired differently and they need each other to raise children. Single parents should always seek a "parent figure" (a godparent, or even an aunt or uncle) of the opposite sex for the sake of the children. Parents, are you parenting from "just one side"? Make sure you work together to balance each other.


Everyone, think about your personal character, and consider how it impacts others. Are you shy? Then people likely mistake it for being cold. Are you direct? Then people likely mistake it for cruelty. We each need to consider how well we balance our personality traits and work to be "all things to all men" as St. Paul said. After all, we are not interacting with robots; we are all part of the body of Christ and we must be helping each other to get to Heaven.

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