24th April

Knowing What Is Appropriate

You know who your teachers were, and you remember that ever since you were a child you have known the Holy Scriptures … All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, so that the person who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good work. 2 Timothy 3: 14 -17

When we are adolescent, it seems as if a thousand little ways of behaving are second nature to adults, but we ourselves are unsure and self conscious about how to react in different situations: how to converse, how to eat things, when and how to arrive and leave.

We need the freedom not to have to prove we know things, that it is OK to ask what is the appropriate thing to do, to take time to observe how others behave, to gradually get a sense of what is appropriate, yet to remain open to inspirations that are unique to us.

Once a group of brothers were enjoying a picnic by a riverside in Ireland, when a bard strolled by. He joined the brothers and they enjoyed conversation for some time, before he said it was time to go, and went on his way. It would have been considered appropriate for the brothers to have invited the bard to sing some of his songs, composed by himself, before he left them, so later the brothers asked Columba why he had not, on this occasion, given such an invitation. ‘Because’, said Columba, ‘that poor man has been killed; and since I sensed that this would happen, how could I have requested a fun song from someone who is abut to meet such an unhappy end?’

Lord of the shadows, Lord of the day
Lord of the elements, Lord of the grey
Lord of creation, Lord of the journey.
I am unsure, weak and frail.
Grant me sureness in the nearness of your clasp
Father keep me in every steep
Saviour reach me in every slip
Spirit teach me in every fall.