Changes and Complainers - December 11,2016
Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman knew a thing or two about change—his high profile conversion to Catholicism as one of the leading voices of the Oxford Movement caused a great deal of consternation within the Church of England. I paraphrase a wise insight of his when he observed: “To live is to change, & to live long is to change often.” Change can be very stressful, even if it’s desired. The neuroscience of it goes, ‘neurons that fire together, wire together.’ The more we do something, the more it becomes not only habit, but biologically ingrained—hence our natural resistance to change. Adjusting to the change seems to be less painful than resisting. God’s work of renewal in us has been compared to that of a refiner’s fire & to a gardener’s pruning shears. The process of refining or pruning feels un-pleasant, & so we resist. When I arrived here only 5 months ago, I stated that I brought no pressing change agenda; meaning that I’d only make changes deemed to be critically needed. The paring of our weekend & daily Mass schedules is not an easy thing, but is necessary, even when cherished & beloved habits get disrupted. Growth requires change, so let’s consider it to be a season of growth. When our human nature protests the change & begs to resist, let’s remember that God does not change, & He is always up to something good!