by Fr. Richard Bayuk, C.PP.S., Vice-Provincial Director
Either you will
go through this door
or you will not go through.
If you go through
there is always the risk
of remembering your name.
Things look at you doubly
and you must look back
and let them happen.
If you do not go through
it is possible
to live worthily
to maintain your attitudes
to hold your position
to die bravely
but much will blind you,
much will evade you,
at what cost who knows?
The door itself
makes no promises.
It is only a door.
Prospective Immigrants Please Note
After serving as editor of The New Wine Press for the past 7 years, I am pleased to be replaced by Fr. Keith Branson, who is now Publications Editor for the province (see his introduction which follows). When I began back in March 2007, I wrote the following: “The diminishment in our community, our bodies, and sometimes our enthusiasm, lives side by side with the certainty of hope. Attuned to the Spirit, we can keep becoming someone and something new, taking hold of a new hand or new opportunity, even as we let go elsewhere.…As a province we are also in the process of shaping our future…. This time of discernment and decision places before us our diminishment, our enthusiasm, our hope, our letting go and hanging on, our opportunities, and our care for each other and God’s people.”
Our journey as a community and as individuals continues. We are all immigrants—together and alone—moving into unfamiliar terrain when making decisions and choices. Whether we go through the door or not, there will be a risk, a cost. To enter somewhere new always means leaving some other place—from one country to another, one home to another, one assignment to another, one attitude to another, one vision to another. It doesn’t mean forgetting the place we left, and I suppose we can always choose to return, to go back through the door. It will not, however, be the same place we left.
The door will never tell us—as individuals or as a community—the right thing to do, or whether or not to walk through it, or make any promises that everything will be fine. It’s just a door. And we do get to choose.
The above poem came to mind as I listened to a funeral homily recently, in which the preacher spoke of the choices we make throughout our lives, and how much they matter and can make a difference. As he concluded, I found myself then recalling the ending of “The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver:
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed,
how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?