March 17, 2013
Dear Fellow Parishioners,
Have you ever taken a personality assessment test? I took one several years ago that identifies your default approach to thinking. The administrator of the test took one look at my score and said, “your brain is at war with itself.” The results indicated that I crave both orderly/sequential thinking and imaginative/creative thinking. Both those types of thinking don’t always play together well. Now you know why I am a bit zany; it’s because the two sides of my brain are competing with each other. I dare say I’m not alone.
In fact, most of us experience a similar internal tension; it’s the tension between needing institutions while holding a suspicion of institutions. As humans we need things such as protection, a sense of belonging, and guidance for life’s complicated issues. None of us can provide those things completely for ourselves, so we form community structures (institutions) to satisfy those needs. Simultaneously, we love our independence and autonomy. We are often disappointed with institutions that don’t meet our expectations. So we may sometimes feel that internal angst of needing the structures of community and wanting to be free of the constraints communities impose. As with any institution it is natural for us to experience this tension in the Church.
My main point is this—thank you for your commitment to Saint Ambrose Parish even in those times when you are feeling the need to be free of institutions. One of the ways I understand the Church is as a community of people who seek a deeper meaning in life and look to God and the other members of the community for guidance on how to live life well. Thank you for all your help creating a place where we can find God’s grace and the mutual support we all need.
Fr. Kevin C. Kennedy