Saturday, June 17, 2006

Dysfunction at the junction...

Pictured, Rosselli's Sermon on the Mount, Sistine Chapel

When I was in high school there was a Motown song "Function at the Juntion" - so that explains this title somewhat - it rhymes.

Today's Gospel from the sermon on the Mount speaks about not taking a false oath, and that we should let our yes be yes and our no be no - no dissimulating, no lying, no passive aggressive 'round the back door behavior.

That stuff happens all too often in the work place. Many times employees lie, make false excuses, use their time deceptively, and complain about others to take the attention off of their mistakes, bad behavior, or incompetence, etc. Sometimes Management does the same things, thus enabling the offenders to continue their charade. They will look away from a problem, perhaps hoping it will go away, yet nevertheless prolonging it. They do not enforce rules, maybe because they sometimes are afraid of lawsuits, or just paying unemployment, or just unable to confront someone or something. They want to be liked and they do not like confrontation, so this 'stealth action' thing goes on. It's dysfuntional. Dysfunction always starts at the top, in a family it starts with the parents. In a business it starts with Management.

We have to "put aside lying" in all its forms. We must let "our 'yes' be 'yes' and our 'no' mean 'no'. Anything beyond that is from the evil one." - Matthew 5


  1. Thanks for the reminder...

  2. Don Marco9:32 AM

    One whose "yes" was "yes" and whose "no" was "no" is today's Blessed Marie-Joseph Cassant. I am very fond of him, having gone on pilgrimage to his tomb at the Trappe of Sainte-Marie-du-Désert in 1982. Here is just a little about him:

    We celebrate today the memorial of Blessed Marie-Joseph Cassant, a Cistercian monk of the Abbey of Sainte-Marie-du-Désert beatified by Pope John Paul II on October 3, 2004. Father Marie-Joseph died on June 17, 1903; he was twenty-five years old. Solemnly professed for three years, he had been a priest for only nine months. From childhood he wanted nothing else. “Where his treasure was, there was his heart also” (cf. Mt 6:21).
    In his last letter to his family, he wrote, “For such a long time we hoped against hope to be able to have the whole family together after my ordination so as to share the joy of being present and receiving Communion together at my first Mass. The good Lord heard our deepest wishes. It now remains to us to thank him and to enter more and more deeply into the greatness of the priesthood. Let us never dare to equate the Sacrifice of the Mass with earthly things.”
    Americans first learned of Father Marie-Joseph Cassant from Thomas Merton in The Waters of Siloe, first published in 1949. Merton wrote that, “On the afternoon of June 17, 1903, the body of Father Joseph Cassant was lowered into its grave in the préau of Sainte-Marie-du-Désert. Someone had thrown into the grave a few bright handfuls of petals from the flowers that had been scattered before the Blessed Sacrament in the cloister procession that same day - for it was the octave of Corpus Christi.”
    The American Trappist made a novena to Father Marie-Joseph and through his intercession received significant favours. Merton was not alone in invoking Father Marie-Joseph. Since 1903 more than 2200 persons from thirty different countries have attested to favours received through the intercession of Father Marie-Joseph. The catalogue of graces attributed to the young monk is impressive: conversions, reconciliations, cures, and comfort in uncertainties and doubts. Father Jacob and I went in pilgrimage to his tomb in 1982 and prayed that both of us might become priests.
    Father Marie-Joseph's road to the priesthood was not an easy one. His parish priest judged him intellectually inadequate for theological studies. After tutoring him for fifteen months in French and Latin, he saw that the young Joseph was not suited for the diocesan seminary. He directed him instead to the Trappe of Sainte-Marie-du-Desert where the monks were ordained to the priesthood after a simpler course of studies, given that they had no pastoral responsibilities or outside ministry.
    Joseph entered “Le Desert” on December 5, 1894. Sister Thérèse de l'Enfant Jésus et de la Sainte-Face, five years older than Joseph, had three years left in her Carmel of Lisieux. Their lives were in some ways similar. Although Thérèse had a stronger personality, both were led to find their strength in weakness. “Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me” (2 Cor 12:9).
    Frère Marie-Joseph was timid, fearful, and scrupulous at times, suffering from insecurities. It was by trusting obedience to his Novice Master, Père André Malet, that he began to grow in confidence in the Heart of Jesus. “My grace is sufficient for you: for power is made perfect in infirmity” (2 Cor 12:9). Confidence in the Heart of Jesus became his way. Echoing the words of the psalmist, he called the Eucharist “his one happiness on earth.” “What have I in heaven? And besides you what do I desire upon earth?” (Ps 72:25).
    Even in the abbey, theological studies were not easy for Joseph. The monk charged with teaching him often humiliated him publicly for his stupidity, saying, “ You are totally limited! It is useless for you to study. You will not learn any more. To ordain you would be a dishonour to the priesthood.” Father André, his gentle and patient spiritual father, was always there to encourage Father Marie-Joseph, to set him again and again on the path of confidence in the Heart of Jesus.
    Father Marie-Joseph was ordained on October 12, 1902 at twenty-four and a half years of age. Already tuberculosis was ravaging his young body. His abbot sent him home to his family for seven weeks of rest, hoping that his health might improve, but it was too late for that. Upon returning to the abbey, Father Marie-Joseph was sent to the infirmary. His lungs were irreparably damaged, his breathing difficult. As infirmarian he was given none other than the theology professor who had so harshly berated him.
    Father André remained close to his spiritual son, offering reassurance and comfort, helping him to trust in the love of the Heart of Jesus for him. On June 17, 1903, Father Marie-Joseph received Holy Communion for the last time and, a few moments later, passed into the contemplation of Christ face to face. The beautiful collect composed for his liturgical memorial sums up his life: “O Lord, Glory of the lowly, who inspired a burning love for the Eucharist in Blessed Joseph Mary, and led him into the desert through the Heart of Jesus; grant, we beseech you, that by his intercession and example we may prefer nothing to Christ, that he may bring us to life everlasting.
    The memorial of Blessed Marie-Joseph Cassant, falling on this Saturday in the month of the Sacred Heart and on the day after Saint Lutgarde, invites us to follow him along the path of confidence in the Heart of Jesus and burning love for the Eucharist. For Blessed Marie-Joseph nothing equaled the Mass; the Mass became his life. At the hour of death his identification with Christ, priest and victim, was complete. Today, through Christ, with Him, and in Him, he makes priestly intercession in heaven for those who ask for it on earth.

  3. Robin5:46 PM

    I agree, I have seen this tear families apart and cause so much emotional abuse. The problem is that such people think it's normal. We need the pebble in the puddle... if we start in our own corner of the world it can go out just like the ripples in a puddle all over the world!


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