Until 2015

I write you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears. — 2 Cor. 2:4

That’s a dramatic opening statement, I know. I know also that applying it to my Blog writing may seem absurdly excessive. Maybe so. But, though I am at peace with the decision because of its clarity, it’s the experience I had within as I discerned and decided this summer that I needed to stop blogging, at least for 2014, to attend with more undivided attention to the increasingly weighty responsibilities of work and home.

Exhaustion is a great teacher.

Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world. — CS Lewis

As I said in June, and have said before too many times, this Blog is a nearly unparalleled joy for me. It’s my theological playground where my faith-in-quest mind is allowed a free reign it’s not allowed even when I teach — I can blow where the Spirit wills in an unfettered way. I have also experienced a deep sense of communion with those who think with me on this Blog — who read and pray and wrestle with the thoughts I offer. Thank you for enriching my mind and heart by lending your own to that which is my life’s passion: to become a sacramental sign for seekers of the Word made fresh.

Again, if you put your email in the subscription window to the right you will receive my Blogs again when I return. I will, God willing, begin again 1/1/15. May the eternal God bless you with all good things, especially through the intercession of today’s O.P. saint, St. Dominic Guzmán!

I’ll leave you with a piece of sage advice a priest friend shared with me earlier this summer that will continue to daily call me back to the One Thing Necessary.

Tom,

I keep trying to call myself back to his, many times failing in the task. Then I try to make my failure part of my prayer. Nevertheless, what Benedict XVI said to priests applies to all vocations.  Have a fruitful and restful bloggus interuptus.

“Dear brother priests, if your faith is to be strong and vigorous, as you well know, it must be nourished with assiduous prayer. Thus be models of prayer, become masters of prayer. May your days be marked by times of prayer, during which, after Jesus’ example, you engage in a regenerating conversation with the Father. I know it is not easy to stay faithful to this daily appointment with the Lord, especially today when the pace of life is frenetic and worries absorb us more and more. Yet we must convince ourselves: the time he spends in prayer is the most important time in a priest’s life, in which divine grace acts with greater effectiveness, making his ministry fruitful. The first service to render to the community is prayer. And therefore, time for prayer must be given a true priority in our life. I know that there are many urgent things: as regards myself, an audience, a document to study, a meeting or something else. But if we are not interiorly in communion with God we cannot even give anything to others. Therefore, God is the first priority. We must always reserve the time necessary to be in communion of prayer with our Lord.”

 ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI

TO PRIESTS, DEACONS AND SEMINARIANS

OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF BRINDISI

Cathedral of Brindisi

Sunday, 15 June 2008

 

In the love of Christ,

Dr. Tom

Taken from usatoday.net

20 comments on “Until 2015

  1. Jerry Deegan says:

    Tom Good to see you are taking care of yourself. Enjoy the extra time to focus on tasks at hand. Jerry

    >

  2. Tom, wishing you a restful break and looking forward to your return next year. Peace to you!

  3. Carol Shutley says:

    Your wisdom will be missed but you must follow your heart. One of my favorite prayers is ‘evermore will I trust You’.
    I look forward to your return.

  4. Kathy Behm says:

    Dear Tom, I am so computer illiterate. Please keep me on your mailing list. I am not sure where the window is that I am supposed to sign up so could you make sure I get your blog.

    I feel the next volume of my Bible study on Song of Solomon being birthed in me….as always ignited by your deep insights…..

    Jesus made a place of refuge for His bride within himself in the holocaustic fury of the the Cross.To weather the storms of life in the shadow of this dark embrace is to know His unspeakable love. At the altar of His sacrifice He lifts the veil that enshrouds His bride and in the valley of the shadow of death we banquet at the table of His Presence. Christ in Us the Hope of Glory! Praise God from whom all blessings flow….. Your friend and companion, Kathy

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  5. Ann Benteen says:

    There are seasons in our lives when we have to pull back from things we love and that are good in order to be obedient to the Holy Spirit. It’s hard but becomes such a blessing. God bless you, and I look forward to the return of your blog.

  6. Judy Svendsen says:

    Tom, I look forward to seeing you back in January. I don’t know how you were able to do everything in the past! I know when I did too much things did not go well! Thanks to you and our friendship my relationship with God has given me strength through the hard times. This summer was probably the hardest with losing Steve’s mom, being with her at the time, and working 60 hours a week. l kept the faith, prayed a lot, and now things are looking up. Making time for God and family has made a huge difference. Thank you for all you have done for me!!

  7. Tom Primmer says:

    Tom, the first step is the hardest, but God is always faithful and never will forsake. “But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness,* and all these things will be given you besides.
    Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.” Matthew 6:33-34 NAB – Rest well.

  8. Laura T. says:

    Whine. Moan. Sniffle. Pout. OK my tantrum is over. 🙂
    You must go where God leads you, and there is discord and disorder when you stray.
    You’re a faithful servant and a wise man! You and your family will continue to be in my prayers, and I look forward to reading your posts when you return.
    Peace,
    Laura

  9. Well done good & faithful servant! As a father of 6 living, I understand your decision. I do look forward to the Solemnity of our Blessed Mother, 2015. God bless you, Patti and the children. I pray that this school year is filled with many joys and successes (and I’m sure many more stories to share later in the blog!).

  10. queenie says:

    For what it’s worth, even this post has had its proper work. Oswald Chambers’ devotion, My Utmost For His Highest, speaks of “Prayer in the Father’s House” as its August 8 entry, noting that “People today are crying out for the Son of God to be put to death. There is no room here for god’s Son right now — no room for quiet, holy fellowship and oneness with the Father.”

    And yet we are called – in Christ – to be about the Father’s business. . . .

    Thank you for sharing the letter from His Holiness, Benedict XVI. It was the perfect punctuation to my morning’s devotion. May that mark of prayer be on your life – and mine – and those who have come here for a time of thoughtful communion. May the peace of God – and the joy of the Lord -be yours, in abundance.

  11. Sherri Paris says:

    Tom, You can be sure that I will be eagerly looking forward to your blog in 2015! I respect your need to focus more clearly on prayer. We all can only benefit from this period of prayer-focus that you are in! May the Prince of peace fill you with great peace, wisdom and joy in the next few months. I will miss your pearls.. Blessings, Sherri

  12. Dear Dr. Tom, may God bless you abundantly in your desire to serve Him and to obey Him where He is leading you. Tru

  13. …In all of your blog posts you reiterate time and again the infinite love, mercy, and goodness of our Lord. You have blessed us all so much through your writing, if God is calling you to take a pause then certainly he has even greater plans for you to be a blessing to people who really need to blessed. Thank you for all of your kindness and generosity. I will continue to keep the Neal family in my prayers.

    Jennifer

  14. Deacon Carlos says:

    Dear Tom, even though this is a tough decision, I admire your courage to trust in the Lord. May the Lord bless you and your family abundantly. Deacon Carlos

  15. Tatia Eischeid says:

    God bless you and your family!!!! I miss you dearly!!! You are an inspiration!!!

  16. Victorious Love says:

    Praise God for your steadfast faithfulness! 🙂

  17. Ben Patterson says:

    I will miss the posts but it is the right call. May God continue to Bless your family and work.

  18. Ona says:

    Aha. I wondered where you’d got to, but also suspected you might find a longer break refreshing. May you continue to grow in holiness/humility and be an inspiration to those around you. You are in my prayers.

  19. GuadaGirl says:

    Dr. Neal you are such an inspiration! Your writings will be greatly missed but I understand your decision to take time off from blogging. I will look forward to your blogging one day again but in the mean time see you in the Eucharist. Praying for you and family well being. Much love through Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart.
    Amor y Paz,
    GuadaGirl

  20. Joy Smith says:

    Please keep the posts coming ,Tom! I look forward to your insights 🙂 Thank you for sharing !

    God bless, Joy Smith ( a Tallahassee, STM parish member. Your youngest daughter, Catherine, was in kindergarten with my daughter, Emma, at TCS – we so miss you and your family at STM!)

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