News And Views
Watch Your Language
By Tim Bishop
The month of May traditionally heralds our warm weather entertaining season. There is something rewarding about sharing our home that is disproportionate to the effort we make serving our guests. We usually start the season with a Kentucky Derby party. Mint juleps are on the menu in honor of the day and of the long tradition of Catholic social drinking celebrated by G.K. Chesterton and his alter-ego Hillaire Belloc. Chesterton says, “We should thank God for beer and burgundy by not drinking too much of them.” Chesterton’s cause for canonization currently is being considered. For those who look to the saints as examples of how to fully appreciate creation, this quote alone has us shouting: “Santo Subito!” Anyway, mint juleps require fresh mint. So, this brings us to another event in May: Pentecost and the speaking in tongues.
Forget about Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and Cretans. Men and women hear things in their own unique language, as well. Donna and I were in the grocery store to acquire the aforementioned fresh mint. We asked a clerk who went to check and returned with the answer, “There isn’t any on the hook marked mint.” Donna heard the answer as, “Sorry, we don’t have any mint.” I heard, “There could be some on the wrong hook. We may have a new shipment which isn’t up yet. Perhaps there is a stray package under the arugula.” So, as Donna headed to the check-out, I headed to the arugula. The mint wasn’t there, but there was one stray package of minty goodness misplaced on the cilantro hook! Once again, the inspiration of the Holy Spirit provided for our needs and those of our guests.
Marriage seems to lend itself in the service of hospitality. We certainly did welcome others into our homes as single people, but the complementary strengths we bring to the party, united in the Sacrament of Matrimony, can turn a picnic into a prayer. Our guests are unique individuals who may hear in their own particular language, as well. Sometimes we may forget to learn the language which they understand and continue to shout at them in our own dialect. We don’t have to be proficient in every tongue. We just need to practice a few different ways of saying, “I Love You.” They’ll get the message.