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More Pastoral Paradox

The people who like you most are the ones you least try to please.

We are all like magnets. We draw some people to us, others are repelled or at best unmoved. No matter how hard we try to please some parishioners, we cannot. Conversely, some people like us no matter what we do. Go figure. The only people we can really please are the ones we don't have to work very hard to please.

The most dependent people in the church tend to wield the most power.

Our desire for unity creates a dilemma: it places the power in the hands of a cranky, critical few. We accommodate the weakest, most demanding members in our attempt to achieve concensus. The result is that the church only crawls, hobbled by its misapplication of the goal "one in the Spirit, one in the Lord."

The more often you preach, the less you have to say.

Passion is like a steam bath, according to Diadochus of Photiki. This desert father is quoted by Henri Nouwen in his book The Way of the Heart: Leave the bath door open and you will lose ...

July/August
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