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Well, the year is almost half way through as we enter June. From the end of this month the nights will start drawing in as we move from the summer solstice towards winter.
I mention this, not to wish the time away, but rather that we value each moment. Living as we do here in Church Stretton, it is easy to take the countryside, the seasons and the creatures around for granted. The same is true with our lives. We can forget to recognise the beauty and joy of life; to appreciate those around us, and the happiness that we have.
In quite an old study (by now) 2,500 Catholic Priests (in the USA) were asked “Are you happy?” 92% responded “Yes, very happy” The priests were also asked if they could turn back the clock and choose again “Would they still become a priest?” again over 90% said “Yes definitely” with another 6% saying “Yes, probably”. The parishes from which the priests were drawn were asked: “Is your priest happy?” 43% of parishioners replied “We think so!” These figures may be surprising for many, especially that so few thought their parish priests were happy; but in part we are not very good at realising how happy we are. So often as a priest, it is only when I come to say my farewell that I realise how much the parish has loved me, and how happy I have been there with the community. I think that is the same for many people; when we are busy and getting things done, we can lose sight of whole. How fortunate are those people who realise how good, rich and happy their lives in the midst of living that life.
Perhaps as the time rolls forward this year, we can pause from time to time and take the time to appreciate the area in which we live, the people around us, and give thanks to God for everything we have and are.
Have a good summer!