The Spiritual Clue-By-Four

So, I can be somewhat dense.  OK, really dense sometimes, and slow to pick up on hints from other people.  I like to chalk it up to the fact that my day job is usually having meetings and then dissecting exactly what was said to find the nuance, subtext, sub-subtext, and innuendo contained therein.  It gets a bit mentally taxing, so when I get home my brain is ready to just take the surface meaning of things and leave it at that.  Luckily, my kids aren’t to third-level message-conveying yet.  My wonderful, patient wife puts up with my slowness and will be more straightforward when I’ve had a challenging day.

Fortunately, God knows this, too, and has taken to hitting me over the head with a clue-by-four when I need it.  In Liberia we would often laugh about the fact that every time I would wonder about if the church needed support with X, the next mass would feature an announcement asking for assistance, or the pastor would approach us with a request.  It sort of happened this year with teaching CCD.  I had wondered about if teaching CCD would be something I should do, and sure enough, they announced the need for volunteers soon thereafter.

So, that brings me to today.  The Extraordinary Form Gospel (Mt 7:15-21) includes the passage about knowing people by their fruits.  Our pastor focused his homily on how to produce good fruits, rather than bad, so that we do the will of the Father and can enter the kingdom of heaven.  Timely because some of the examples of the bad fruits that he used cut a little close to home.  Also timely because his solution was to pray, every day, that your guardian angel watches over you and gives you a little spiritual tweak of the tail to keep your from sinning.  I’ve been struggling a lot recently with losing my temper.  Just this past week, though, I’ve tried using the Guardian Angel prayer before speaking.  When I remember, it’s helped.  Again, the clue-by-four to let me know that I’m on the right track.

At least my Guardian Angel uses a gentle hand with the clue-by-four; if I really got what was coming to me, I’d be knocked flat all the time.