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  • Writer's pictureFr. Daniel S.J. Scheid SCP

What is Father Dan Thinking? 9-3-23


I played a game of cat-and-mouse with a vehicle whose owner was parked illegally in our white zone for several days last week. I was generous in not calling to report the vehicle sooner, trusting in the good nature of its owner, especially after I taped signs to the windows, gently warning of ticketing and towing to come. Alas, I was disappointed. I called Sunday and the vehicle was ticketed, but not towed. Someone from the city 311 office called me Sunday afternoon to ask if we were still having services. No, I said. Well, she apologized, then the vehicle isn’t parked illegally right now, so it can’t be towed. She belongs to a church, too, she said, and even she doesn’t have any pull when someone is parked illegally at her church. So I called Monday morning, right before Morning Prayer. It appears that the vehicle received a second ticket for that infraction, but still no tow. While making copies in the office, I heard the vehicle start and saw its owner make a U-turn. I yelled Dude!, and the dude merely shrugged his shoulders as he sped off. Problem solved, I suppose – the vehicle is no longer parked where and when it shouldn’t, but I was left sputtering mad, which is my problem.


I have a hard time letting such things go. I wonder if you do, as well. Especially little things such as this which seem unkind and purposely thoughtless, and done by someone I don’t know, which makes it all-too-easy for me to project all kinds of unkind thoughts onto.


I’ve a century-old Anglo-Catholic devotional which has a welcome few pages for times like this: “A Little Office for those who cannot Forgive.” While this little office, as I pray it, is intended for overcoming deeper hurts than the thoughtless dude inflicted, nevertheless I think it’s a good practice to practice active forgiveness on the smaller things, over which I have little to no control, so as to be more ready to forgive the bigger things that I likely have shared culpability for. If you’d like a photocopy of this little office, let me know.

God’s blessings and peace,


Dan+


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