From the Pastor's Desk

Fr. LeRoy Scheierl
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Week of December 14th - Third Week of Advent

Have you ever had the opportunity to watch the train slooooowwwwllllyyyy go by, across the tracks on 25th Avenue, St. Cloud? I know I have on a few occasions this past month. If you have not had this experience, you should. It tends to try one’s patience a lot! December tends to be a busy month anyway for all of us, not the least of which for us here at our Main Office for St. Peter and St. Paul. There is lots of planning going on, lots of Advent Masses and Penance Services, lots of Faith Formation program stuff. All of these need to be planned well in advance. Starting in early Advent, we already are getting things ready for Christmas, the Holy Family, the Solemnity of Mary on New Year’s Day along with Epiphany in January as well. And, let’s not fail to mention our Financial year end reports and letters that need to go out. Needless to say, here at “Santa’s other workshop” we are busy, so things have to happen fast. Life can get a little hectic with us. This being said, this past week I had to quick run my truck into Al’s Westside Mobile for a fix-it-up job amidst all the other things, and that’s when it happened: The Great Northern Railroad was passing by on 25th Avenue again. Boom! Everything has to stop. The bar comes down and the lights flash as that big, heavy train goes ever so slowly forward and across the track. Then, just when you think it’s going to pass, it reverses directions and starts going back again. I imagine the conductor is trying to hook up with another car somewhere down the line. “Soo,” there it goes starting its reverse course….a few minutes later and, “Yes!” “No!” it stops and then it starts proceeding ever so slowly still forward again, this time I suppose to change tracks. Finally, it stops and begins to reverse for about the third time again. As I was watched this all take place and witnessed the traffic backing up, my patience was just about to run out. I won’t repeat some of the words I said then (really they weren’t that bad), but I could have handled it better for myself. That’s when it occurred to me that I needed to take some of my own preacher’s advice: Advent is a season of patiently waiting for Christ. Sometimes in our most hectic times, God has to put up a road block or a sign that says, “Stop!” time to wait for others to cross, time to listen to what the spirit says to us. Others have important freight to deliver too. When I realized this, I then became more resigned and calm inside. My work and some of my pressing appointments could wait for now. So, I took time to wait, to watch and to enjoy some of the graffiti on the cars as they passed by. I thought about what message we should be carrying with us on our own passing car. It should be a message of peace and hope, of a Savior who can rescue us from our sin, our frustrations and lack of patience and love. My prayer for you the rest of this Advent Season is this: May God’s train cause you to slow down a bit and even stop, to pause and reflect and take some time to settle down to the love God wants to give to all of us. About this time, the railroad track bar began to rise and the flashing lights stopped. Whew! Let’s try again, only this time God, I promise to do a better job, to slow down and absorb this wonderful season we call Advent in Christ. God bless……

Fr. LeRoy Scheierl

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