“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” ~ Maya Angelou
Every week, I print a list of deceased bishops, priests, and deacons who have served the faithful of the Diocese of Gary, asking you to remember them in your prayers.
Of the four listed in this weekend’s pastor’s page, the one for today really brought back lots of memories. Fr. Joseph Pusateri was what many people would call a “strange duck”. He just had a way about him that was often different from anyone else. He told me once that it was because he always tried to stay in touch with the child within him since we are, after all, all God’s children.
Whenever he encountered defeat, he looked for ways to rise above it. If it meant moving on to a new assignment, so be it. If it meant stretching beyond his limited understanding, he would do it. He constantly looked for ways to improve himself.
He never retired. When he reached the age of retirement, he requested to remain as an active priest. At that point in time, he was the pastor at St. Mary Church in Otis, Indiana. When he reached retirement age, he said that he did not want to quit growing or quit learning. So, he began piano lessons.
There was never any chance that he would become a concert pianist, that is for sure; but, at the same time, he felt that he needed to learn something new and he kept at it. The joy on his face when he would show us the scales that he learned any particular week was infectious. You could not help but smile or laugh when around him.
We are all created for something much more than we are at the present moment. We are all created for something much more than we will make ourselves to be in the future. We were created for growth, not for stagnation. We are challenged to live our faith in the same manner. We must always look ahead to see what it is we can learn and be filled with joy when we draw ever closer to God.
God made us special. Celebrate that. Live that. Build upon that. It will prepare us for the day when God calls us to Himself.
FAITH ACTION: Take time to thank God for the people He has placed in your life who have inspired you. If they are still alive, thank them personally as well.