Some of the Little Things

Drying the sheetsJust a short note to focus the spot­light  on the ‘lit­tle things’ on this blog. Father Michael often used those two words. I remem­ber most­ly hear­ing them in his beau­ti­ful hom­i­lies. Father Michael spoke so often of the impor­tant ideals, lifestyles,choices, that we select­ed for our lives- how we accom­mo­dat­ed our faith to those choic­es . He always empha­sized the lit­tle things  that made the dif­fer­ence in our deal­ingswith each oth­er. Father M saw the real­i­ty of our Faith and the Lord’s pres­ence in the every­day, in the ordi­nary.

One day Father Michael was mar­veling about a ven­dor he passed dai­ly near St Pius in Pilsen.  Father Michael said he greet­ed the man each day with an “¡Hola!” and the man always smiled and returned the greet­ing. The ven­dor kept busy through the day sell­ing Mex­i­can bev­er­ages and snacks from a cart. Father Michael told me, “He works so hap­pi­ly, I’m sure he is a holy man.”  Well, on this par­tic­u­lar day, when Father first glimpsed him, the man appeared to be relax­ing. But as he came clos­er , Father M saw that the ven­dor was engrossed in a book — and it just hap­pened to be a Bible!! This gave Father Michael such joy. It was like an affir­ma­tion of the good­ness he had always assumed. This was just a lit­tle thing, but to Father M, it spoke vol­umes.

Once Father Michael shared some love­ly mem­o­ries of grow­ing up, watch­ing his moth­er laun­der, mend, air dry and iron the family’s sheets. A big job for a fam­i­ly that large, but def­i­nite­ly one of those ‘lit­tle things’. Father spoke ten­der­ly about how she dili­gent­ly patched the worn sheets. I wrote him an email thank­ing him for the sto­ry-which I thought said much about his own char­ac­ter. He gra­cious­ly answered:

I did love my birth moth­er. She was very play­ful (also extra­or­di­nar­i­ly orga­nized- a trait I missed.)
I love old things. I love restored hous­es and patched sheets and patched shirts and mend­ed socks and shoes that have been renewed at the shoe mak­er. Some­how they give me a great sense of peo­ple car­ing for peo­ple. ”

I think Father Michael stayed con­tin­u­al­ly aware of so many of these lit­tle things-through­out his life. He eas­i­ly saw the love in all of them, the ‘peo­ple car­ing for peo­ple’.


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