No, I am not referring at all to the 1965 smash hit song by The Supremes!  Rather, something that happened amid my family’s caring for my father through his long-term illness, and Hospice-at-Home (his wish-this was during the pandemic, and there would have been little visitation) and finally his passing.

During this season of his care, there were times when it was overwhelming.  We found ourselves doing things we thought only nurses and their assistants can do for our loved ones, and many things we had to do were out of our comfort zone.  Curiously, by mid-afternoon we seemed to gravitate to a sitting room in the house, having coffee and taking a break.  We simply had to STOP.  

It became a lot more than a much-needed break however.  We found ourselves having meaningful discussions about the future and all that was currently happening.  At other times we were quiet, perhaps discerning how our roles might be changing with what we knew was inevitable.  It was ok to be quiet together.  Sometimes we said very little.  The quiet had meaning, together.

I can imagine how the earliest believers in Christ must have had similar “stop” sessions, after listening and experiencing this new Way.  Try to imagine having your entire belief system stood on its head!  My parish priest, Father Slowiak reminds us weekly that Church means community and these earliest believer communities at times strayed, nearly died out, were corrected in love, were renewed and moved forward.  A great deal of discussion and listening surely happened in the house churches.  And I think as they went far out of their comfort zones, they surely needed time to stop, recover, just as my family did. 

We have continued this practice of stopping nearly every afternoon, well over a year since my father’s death.  I believe this to be a special grace from the Lord. 

Perhaps it might be time for you to stop, in the name of love for others (and please include yourself) if you are feeling off course.  St. Anthony’s offers so many opportunities to stop for a while.  In the Name of Love, who is Christ, many blessings upon you. 

– Bruce LaCrosse

As is my custom, I share artwork I have done on this theme.