Delight in our God

150 150 St. Mary St. Catherine of Siena

We thought you might enjoy
a reprint of an article by Fr.
Ronan from 2016.


This week I returned to the Parish after more than 2 weeks of vacation time. Adapting to the change of pace that comes about from leaving one’s work-a-day world does not happen quickly. In fact, for the first days Charlestown and activities in the Parish were never far from my mind. Even though I returned to Charlestown for several commitments that emerged, slowly I became more used to the rhythm of the beautiful summer days along the coast in the Plymouth area. The natural loveliness of this corner of the coastline is alluring, and spending as much time as possible out-of-doors made the time go slowly. Gradually, the disconnect began to happen.

When every waking moment is not filled with issues, people, projects and various needs and challenges of the Parish, something else seeps in. I became much more conscious of everything around me: the sea and the tides, the birds and wildlife, the sunshine and the showers, the morning coffee and the quiet. As you know, Charlestown is not a quiet place – certainly not at St. Catherine’s Rectory which is under the Tobin Bridge and periodically sways to the weight of passing vehicles. Yet out on Duxbury, Kingston and Plymouth Bays – it is the sound of the ocean passing under the hull of the sailboat, the screeching of the gulls and the hurried chirps of the diving wrens that are heard.

And I do love to sail, a cat boat preferably and my 35 year old Marshall Sandpiper, only 15’ long, seems to love to be out on the water no matter the wind and conditions. Yet the sea is a master teacher and one who does not heed, very carefully, the signs and songs of the sea, pays a steep price.

There are few things I have done in my adult life that have so consistently been so humbling! It is the tide and the currents along with the winds and gusts that all play into a day of sailing, and it is never boring. For me what seems to slowly fall away is the need to be busy and productive – a trap we all might fall into. Stepping outside of that, one’s senses are sharper and creativity more evident. There is a sense of knowing more completely that God is always active – all around in every moving and living thing as well as in the sky, rocks, the air and the sea.

The power of God is easier to see and feel and to be amazed at. One knows that God is always “there” yet that is not to say that I am always present to God. Any of us can get caught into a trap, become stale, and miss the subtlety of the movement of God’s Spirit everywhere. Days away make possible a sense of being surrounded by and enfolded in the beauty of God.

The word “delight” is found often in the Book of Psalms and especially as used to describe how God delights in God’s creation – including you and me. Yes, I believe we are a source of delight to God! This God, Who is Love, sees us and all that surrounds us as a cause of delight. Isn’t that amazing? And so I have come to believe that just as God delights in us, God also wishes that we delight in God and in all of the beauty and wonder of God’s creation.

Now I am back in Charlestown. Many of us walk everyday all over town. And way too many walk looking down at smart phones and listening to music actually oblivious to all that surrounds us. Even a casual “good morning” goes unheeded because a fellow walker is someplace else wrapped in some distant busyness far from the beauty of the birdsong, bright summer flowers, the screeching gulls coming off the harbor and the sounds of children playing in a yard. Delight is missed all around.

It is good to be back in the Parish – really! Yet it so good to step away, as well, and become refreshed in all that God is – and to delight in it all.

Fr. Ronan

Ministry to the Sick and Homebound

We welcome the opportunity to provide the Sacraments of Confession, Communion or Anointing of the Sick to anyone who is homebound, either on a short or longer term basis, as we want to do our best to help them feel connected to our community.

Please call us at 617-242-4664 if you, a relative or neighbor is open to having a home visit for some friendly conversation and prayer.