View video of Br Damien Price – Transition Officer, Edmund Rice Ministries Oceania talking at the 2019 Brisbane Archdiocesan P&F Council Parent Evening.[mwVimeo video_id=’327825684′ width=’620′ height=’349′]
Listen to a podcast of Br Damien Price – Transition Officer, Edmund Rice Ministries Oceania talking at the 2019 Brisbane Archdiocesan P&F Council Parent Evening.
Transition Officer, Edmund Rice Ministries Oceania, Br Damien Price talked about how to stay connected to your children, at the 2019 Brisbane Archdiocesan P&F Council Parent Evening.
“Nothing is more practical than finding God and falling in love in a quiet, absolute, final way,” Br Price said in the video and podcast above as he quoted Father Pedro Arrupe.
“What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination will affect everything,” Br Price continued.
“It will decide what would get you out of bed in the morning (for), what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, whom you know, what breaks your heart and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
“Fall in love. Stay in love and it will decide everything.”
Br Price also recounted stories and had the audience participate in exercises to illustrate his presentation.
Read the transcript.
So, there’s a little bit of the Irish culture in me, only a tiny little bit. So if you pick up the little card that was on your seat, the little bit of paper, now, for those of you who fall asleep in the next couple of minutes, let’s begin with the answer, okay? How do you stay connected to your children, school and church? This is the only answer I can find. The superior general of the Jesuits many years ago was a guy called Father Pedro Arrupe and this is what he said can we all say it as a sort of community. Let’s go. Nothing is more practical than finding God and falling in love in a quiet, absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination will affect everything. It will decide what would get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, whom you know, what breaks your heart and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love. Stay in love and it will decide everything.
Now not to be too simplistic, but I am totally convinced that if we are madly in love, we will stay connected. I’ve never taught a student who needed me to be perfect. Never at Gregory Terrace the coach of the under 13F’s and the 13G’s and the boys knew I had no idea and at St Laurence’s I was the 1715 coach and the boys there knew I had no idea. But every now and again, I’ll be in a bar doing the work of Jesus and when I’m having a beer with somebody, an old boy will come up behind me and they’ll go, “G’day Pricey,” and I’ll turn around and it’ll be someone that I’ve tried to walk that journey with. So I think if we stay in love, if we fall in love, I think the answers will come. Fidelity. I worked at Gregory Terrace for seven years and when I was at Terrace, I began a street van with homeless people and we’ll finish tonight’s presentation.
Father Michael would have known Father Paul Costello and Paul was an oblate priest and he was involved with the beginning of the actual, so Rose’s Van and one night, we were out there and it was a Friday night and the van was about to go on out and it was bucketing down rain, bucketing down and I turned up and I just wanted to go home. I was over all this Jesus stuff and being nice and all those other lovely things and I turned up and I was saying, “Let’s go home,” and there’s the team of five or six young men and they’d got the water all boiling and they’d got the biscuits and the coffee and everything and I said, “Hey, fellas, it’s bucketing down. Let’s go home.” “We can’t go home.” I said, “Come on. No one’s gonna be out there.” They said, “We told them we would be there.”
So not happy, smoke coming out of ears, grumpy, grumpy, grumpy, we load up the van and down we go to King George Square and teaming down rain and I had my little white shirt on and my little Jesus wings and I got out of the front door. Now, before I got to the back of the van, I was soaked. Not happy. Back of the van comes up and there’s one of those sexy little things called a café bar. We older people remember those. Anyway, and there’s a little bus shelter at the side of King George Square and anyway, the boys will get out and zoom, zoom, zoom, zoom. Before we knew it, 30 or more homeless guys creamed into this little shelter at the side of King George Square. I’m serving coffee. The rain’s gone from pouring to just steady. I am drenched and then I heard the most extraordinary thing. One of the homeless guys turned to the other guy and said, “See? I told you they would come.” Fidelity. More than anything else, fidelity of the heart. That, in the end, will keep us all connected and learnt something that night.
If it was up to me, I would have been home and the boys wouldn’t have gone on out. I had the most magical night. Yes, for those homeless guys, who’d been let down so many times and the boys said, “We’ll be there.” Translate that into your own journey. With the person next to you, you’ve got 27 seconds. Who’s someone in your life who’s been faithful and there? 26 seconds.
Okay, that was more than 26 seconds. So I’ve got a little bit of a handout I’ll be giving everything else soon just so when you report me to Archbishop Mark, you can say, “This is what he said.” So I’m just going to bounce any around and the first thing I want to say is there’s no answer. There is no expert.
If you’re at a party and you overhear a conversation and the person behind you says, “I’ve got the most perfect children and they all go to the most perfect school and they all go to mass every day and Veronica’s thinking of becoming a nun,” well, the person saying that’s probably on some sort of drug or they are not on the same planet as me. There is no answer to this beautiful question of how do we stay connected. What you do have is your wisdom and in this room right now, there’s a huge amount of wisdom. I spent a lot of time working at how to go from one slide to the actual next. Okay, so what I’m gonna do for this little bit of time and you better hurry up, Damien, I’m gonna focus on the first of those three, on the actual child because I’m convinced if we can journey with their child, if we can walk with their child and then I’ll end up talking a little bit about the one at the end at church. But I’m not gonna worry about the school in the middle.
The school is where it will happen. But we’re gonna worry about the child. We’re gonna talk a little bit about church. I had fun putting in those. But then the school will then happen. Somehow, they will feed into that. We’ll talk more about that in a couple of minutes’ time. Okay, the smile faces. So first, I want to talk about the crap detector because we I can go into connecting with young people, I’m gonna talk about my little bit of experience. Now, if there’s a crisis in the church, it is this because Brother said it or Sister said it or Father said it or the Cardinal said it, we’re gonna believe it. Leviticus, chapter five, bull shivers. Just because Brother says something, okay, I’m just gonna share from my little bit of experience, I’m hoping it might bounce once something. So there’s three lots of crap detectors. That’s a great gift. Our young people, they’ve got this little thing that goes psst when we’re not fair dinkum. Now, once again, they don’t need me to be perfect. They don’t need you to be. But if you are authentic, that matters and for the church too.
They need an authentic church. So the first level of crap detector is that beautiful bit when the child is 12, 13, 14 and, “Why? I don’t have to,” and they rebel and they’re against everything and we know that that crap detector phase is just there called growing up. It’s a very immature phase. I remember teaching young girls, year nine girls in Rockhampton. Oh praise Jesus. If I don’t get into Heaven after that year, but honestly, it was the most difficult time. But there was that real immaturity. That’s one level of crap detector. But then that second one, it’s milking the reaction and what’s all about is do you believe in me? That’s what it’s about. They’re rebelling and acting out and doing all sorts of crazy, wonderful things and underneath it all, as we’ve said, we love you. Underneath, there’s a little, little voice saying, “Do you really?”
Then when we walk that journey with time, we come to a time of unconditional love and acceptance when you can say, “I can celebrate being me,” and they know in that family, I was accepted for being my own actual self and when the crap detector doesn’t go off there, we’ve done extraordinary things. Okay, so the crap detector’s a really important thing. The next thing in their little journey, I want to talk about boys for a couple of minutes because I’ve worked with boys for 40 or so years. Now we know straightaway no two boys are the actual same. Okay? There’s a lady in the audience here. I taught her two boys. Chalk and cheese, okay? Chalk and cheese. But no two boys are the same. But there’s some generalisations and soon I’m gonna ask you to share about how you see young girls because what we gotta do is if we’re gonna stay kind of connected, we’ve gotta meet them where they are at and part of that is to come as a guest. You’ll hear me often when I try to do a bit of work.
I say the first journey in the heart is to come as guest and the guest comes to the other gently, slowly, respectfully. When working with the guys in the streets, we’re to come to those beautiful people in the streets as a guest into their sacred, sacred ground. So we want to come as guests to where our young people are at. We come gently into that space of questioning and rebelling or whatever’s going on there and then from guest we choose to be present and our presence more than anything else says you are beautiful. So first step, guest to where they are at. Secondly, presence and the presence more than anything else, I had never met an old boy who said to me, “Damien, I remember when you said this.” No old boy of mine’s ever remembered anything I actually said ever. No one said, “Remember in year 10 science you said zinc plus sulfuric acid gives us a zinc sulphate?” No old boy’s ever said that to me. But they do remember other things. Guest and presence.
So let’s speed dial the way through something to do with some boys and you’re gonna say, “No, I don’t necessarily agree with all this.” If you can read this, there’s all different stages. They go from a little boy. Then they go through a good boy stage at some stage. There’s the asking why stage, the questioning stage, the grump and the rebel stage and for some young men, that never seems to have finished, that stage there and I can remember you teach year nine boys. They go, “Ugh, ugh, ugh,” and all there was was every different level of that. I’d say, “Gentlemen, have you done your homework? Gentlemen, have you done your homework?” “Ugh.” I’m not sure if that happened to any of you, but that stage there. Then there’s the boy who thinks he’s a man. There’s the hormonal roller coaster. Then there’s the abs, the body aware, the pimples and the pecs. I used to love it.
About a month out of schoolies week, this wouldn’t happen at Iona I’m sure, Michael, but about a month out from schoolies week, all of a sudden, the gym was full and the boys would go down. They’re going, “Grr,” and they come out the end of lunchtime and it was like a slow dance where they peel their sweat singlet off and slowly with every mirror and window close by, they’d slowly put on something else and you’d be going, “Gentlemen, get into class.” “Yeah, sure, sir.” Pain in the backside. Okay, the body aware, pimples and pecs. Then there’s the team, the gang, the group and the mates, but, of course, “We’re never influenced by them, sir. Never. Of course not, no.” Then they’re aware, but they really aren’t aware, very egocentric stages and there’s that agency stage of, “I can really do it,” and there’s a confidence grown and, “I can make a difference.” that’s what I loved in school. So I used to get them involved with the refugees and asylum seekers and homeless people, etc and the young men loved, loved that. They loved to get involved and to make a difference.
Then there was that kind of restless with the institution and they got sick at school and sick of everything. They just wanted to get out there and enjoy life. Then there was experimentation stage and then there’s a grown independence as they got jobs and money and in relationships and finally, that sense of I am me and all those things, that’s from my level of experience. They journey like this. They go like this and then they go like this. Then they go like this and they go like this and one month, you say to your partner, “Isn’t he mature?” Then two months later, “Isn’t he stupid?” You go like that. But slowly, the journey’s heading towards that independence. But they must do those stages and I can remember being in a school one time when we had the perfect college captain. He played rugby league.
He was the captain of the school, the perfect young man and everyone thought he was gonna become a priest or something like this, all deep and lovely and perfect and nice and the first year out of school, he just went crazy and was sex, drugs and rock and roll and I remember the time just thinking to myself, “Yeah, he just needed to walk his journey.” He put it on hold. 12 seconds with the person next to you just to wake Father Michael up. He’d had a big, big day. What there made sense? Where don’t you agree with it? Have a little buzz. Come on.
Okay, so thank you very much. So all I’m saying there is the crap detector, to be just aware of that of where those children are actually at and to walk beside them, to come as guests, to be really aware. But, of course, in that little journey, now I need my volunteer. Can you come and volunteer, Abby, please? Come on. I need my volunteer. So I got actually a beautiful yellow line. So you’re gonna gently walk along that yellow line, okay? So what we gotta do, let’s start the journey. There are times when we’re gonna be … I’m embarrassed too. Trust me. I’ve got a stutter. You should have been when I tried to talk to Susan King while I was in grade nine. Okay, and then there are times when we gotta go away from them because they don’t want us near them. Then there are times when we come back and bounce away. Turn out, we’re doing this well. Okay, so on this journey, it’s this in and out. Come on. Come on. So and at times, it’s like this and isn’t this lovely? But yeah, I just got pushed away again.
So that’s what we’ve got to do. Thank you, friend. Well done. So it’s that walking with that kind of fidelity and at times, you’re close and you’re there and it’s great. But they know and their crap detector knows when you’re not there. They know and their crap detector knows when you’re not there. So even though they’re saying, “Don’t come near the football game. Don’t come near the netball game,” whatever, you you’re up in the very far stand of the stadium, but down in here, they kind of know. It’s not always being physically there. But they know when you’re with them on the actual journey. And their crap detector is waiting. Do you really love me? Do you really love me? It’s that beautiful, beautiful tango which we then actually do. So I’m gonna invite everyone to move. I know some people hate this moving and ice breaker type things. Go and meet someone you haven’t met tonight. You’ve got 14 seconds. Go. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. 10. 11. 12, 13, 14. Okay, thank you. Stay where you are. Awesome. Now, with your newfound friend, are we ready?
With your newfound friend, you’re just going to do this, class. This is what it was like. Thank you very much. All you gotta do is this. One of you is just gonna say, “Girls …” and the other one’s just gonna finish the sentence and then you’re gonna go again. Girls and the other one’s gonna finish the sentence. Girls and the other one’s gonna finish the sentence. When you’ve done three or four or five, swap over. Now, if anyone starts to give you a lecture, just go, “Hey, mate, he just said the world girls and then you gotta finish that sort of sentence.” Ready? Go.
Switch on over.
Okay, thank you. Go and find your chair again. Thank you very much. So this connection is around the crap detector. The connection is all around knowing where they’re at, coming as guests, being deeply present and being faithful. Okay, I phoned a friend. I said, “Kate in Melbourne, I’ve only worked with young women a couple of times. Tell me about women, young girls.” So Kate Garoni said to me this, that when they’re open and engaged and creative, that puberty just comes whacking in about year eight, high impact of the media of stereotypes. There’s layers and layers of it, that whole impact of the media, layers and layers of the stereotypes there. But this impression can be much more overt than it is factually boys. For boys, it’s much more of a subliminal thing, according to Kate. Okay, boys get physically restless. I remember trying to teach boys and after three and a half minutes, they’d be like this. I’d be like, “Gentlemen.” Hopeless, hopeless. But girls go off and sit in groups and chat about for much longer periods.
Huge body awareness but are much more in tune than it is for us men and there’s a weight of expectations around self esteem and their needs and there’s an intensity in young women, according to Kate. They’ll sit in circles and they’ll all chat and chat and they’ll share. I haven’t got any friends but I got a person I know called Dan McMahon. Dan is the Prince of Shalom College up in Bundaberg. Now last year, very, very sad, he had a member of his staff take his own actual life, very sad and Dan and the community, they got counsellors in. They said it was extraordinary. The girls went to all the counsellors and the girls sat in circles and the girls came into the sacred space and the girls did all of that and if you ever want to see the best talk I’ve ever seen on the issue of suicide, get Shalom College in Bundaberg to give you this magnificent tape.
When Dan McMahon stood in front of the whole school assembly and he talked about suicide and in the middle of it, he said, “And boys, what is it about us men that hardly one boy went and saw a counsellor?” Not hardly one boy talked about that particular issue and he really challenged them. Powerful stuff. Okay, but the girls can be … Their friendship groups can change, very cruel in what they can say and the whole cyber bullying and something about them taking that anger in and their feelings in, while is the boys that will play it out on the sports field and the self harming, etc. So that’s just some little things. So it’s that tango. It’s that journeying with them. It’s that kind of fidelity. That’s how we stay connected. Firstly, it’s about how we walk with them. It’s that beautiful dance of near and then not so near, aside and arms wrapped around. Then we’re apparently distant, but never too far away.
The crap detector knows if we are and this type of walking with requires great patience and you know that and you may not see the fruit of it until they’re 25 or 26, walking that journey with them and we were us. Then they were us at arms distance and then we became me and then there were journeys continued of the me. Then once again at some point, you become an us again. So little bit of that particular journey. The Little Prince, beautiful book and he says, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What’s essential is invisible to the eye. It’s the time you’ve wasted for your rose.” Now that doesn’t feel nice. None of all this is nice. You don’t go home tonight and all of a sudden, yeah, your teenage child goes, “Kumbaya, my Lord,” and wait for you to come home. “I want to give you a hug.” No, it does not happen or does not happen often. But it’s that they will know there’s that sense of fidelity, that sense of you’re with them on that particular journey.
None of you know Professor Dennis McLaughlin but he’s [inaudible 00:28:46]. He loves to tell the story picking up his teenage daughter from a Gregory Terrace Dance, waiting outside in the car in his pyjamas and dressing gown and then when she didn’t come out right on time because she had met a boy, in goes Professor McLaughlin in his pyjamas and dressing gown. Well, you can imagine, imagine. But she’s a teacher up in Townsville now and she knew the fidelity of his walking with her. Okay, so you’re planting the seeds. You plant these seeds and like seed plant time, seeds of family, seeds of discipline, seeds of respectful women or for men, seeds of intimacy, seeds of faith, seeds of self esteem. But you begin the planting early. I think of the of greatest things is we kind of, “Okay, it’s all okay. We’ll start planting the seeds when they are 14,” or expect to see the seeds when they are 14. No, the seed planting, the boundaries, the know, the fidelity, all that begins very early on.
You can’t plant seedlings in the heat of the day and then we nurture those seeds through gentle care, fidelity, walking with, walking beside, walking with them through the … just being there, not about doing so much unless the doing leads to them being. So this is about connecting and someone once said one of the greatest things a person can do is to plant a seed that will one day grow to become a great tree that will give shade to the people they have never met. Think about that. One of the greatest things a person can do, you as parents, as educators, to plant a seed that will one day grow to be a great tree that will give shade to people you have never known. Isn’t that extraordinary? So Matthew, can you just give me those and get your friends to give out some there just so we can have a little quick look at that because I’m running out of time fast. So what I want to do is I’m gonna break open some little what I’m calling the 10 commandments. I’ve got nine minutes left of staying connected.
Okay and I’m just gonna flick through these, some things from my own experience. One, don’t ask them to go where you haven’t gone within your own life. That’s a whole credibility thing. Be aware of the subliminal messages, things like boys do not actually cry. Be really aware of the subliminal messages which we then give. Befriend the actual media but in a critical way. If you want to go home tonight and go onto YouTube and put in Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern over in New Zealand and listen to her speech at Kashmir High School and Prime Minister Ardern says to all the students befriend the media but in a critical way. Use Facebook and Twitter and all that in a positive, critical way because if we don’t, we’re locked outside and this other type of a world. But instead of that, engage them early in that critical way. Be media with them. Do it all with them. But teach them to be really, really critical. Keep them talking. Now, they’ll talk in all sorts of way.
There will be times when they verbally talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, but there are times when they’re not saying a word but they’re still talking, but in a different way. Their body language is now saying something. So we are listening. We’re listening when they’re verbally talking. We’re listening for the messages in between. We’re listening to the body kind of language. That whole listening and the talking is gonna trump and it’s going to change. Okay, we’ve all got feet of clay. One of the most beautiful things all of us in this room can say is we’ve stuffed up. So when the child hears you say, “I stuffed up,” that’s the most liberating experience. The perfect parent is a pain the perfect parent can’t be lived up to. Perfect Christian brother and priest can’t either. So for them knowing that you’ve stuffed up is the most powerful thing. So it’s that authenticity, boundaries early, quality time before things always differentiate between the person and the issue. That’s that crap detective space again. Do you love me?
I was at Straddy one time with a group of dads and they took their boys over there for male bonding weekend or something and I got asked the last minute would I do some work with them. I got about one minute’s notice and I just said to the dads, “Share with your sons what you’re most proud of them.” Well, it was beautiful and the boys cried and the dads cried and all this sort of stuff. All good. I went to bed about 11:00. 3:00 in the morning, I could hear the boys vomiting outside from the drinks that they had all snuck in. Didn’t all feel good at that time. But differentiate between the person and the issue. Come as guests. Deliberately create story sharing times. Deliberately do it. Sit down and say, “When can we gather to share our family stories?” Share a story of how we fell in love. Share all our family stories. Up in Proserpine under the mango trees, what did we do?
We shared story over and over again and now when we go up there, it’s the next generation, sharing the story or saying, “Uncle Simon, tell us about the time.” Powerful, powerful stuff. Now I’ve totally run out of time. So I’m just gonna skip through these. But you got 14 seconds. What’s made sense so far and where did your crap detector go off? 14 seconds.
Okay, I wish I had a bit more time to give you and please don’t tell me this, a professor of child psychology in the audience that would give me, So quickly, I want to look at the church for a couple of minutes. So quickly, we are in a time of a crisis. There’s a crisis of hope and of meaning, not just in the church, but in the world and it’s a great time of a sort of crisis and in times past and I’m not the fourth member of the blessed quartet here, religious joke, but seriously though. I haven’t got every answer. But what I do actually know is this. I watched Q&A and I watched not long after that the Cardinal Pell thing and this Vivian Waller lady is the lawyer who prosecuted Cardinal Pell and you may remember a powerful scene when an elderly woman in the audience said, “I’m a Catholic. What have you got to say to me in this time?” Now I thought Christian clearly would have taken the next question. I thought Francis Sullivan would.
But Vivian Waller who is no great friend of the church said, “Stay faithful what you believe.” Put your faith in the Scriptures and in the rituals and in the traditions, in the community of the church, not in the institution as such. Never lose faith in where your heart has taken you. Powerful, powerful stuff. Surprising stuff. Something like this, keep on loving the church. There’s nothing wrong with the church. It’s nurtured your heart and spirit that stayed involved. Don’t lose faith in the actual church. So what is this church I want to talk about? So this Vivian Waller, she was critical of the actual institution, about necessarily the Roman collars or whether you are a celibate person, etc. But there’s a lot in that side of church too. This man’s a friend of mine, Bishop Brian. People like him, a good priest, a compassionate and humble man of prayer, okay? He lives the actual church. So in this time, you are the church. A second Vatican counsel said that in the 1960’s. But I’m convinced we were not ready for it. In the 1960’s, they said that we weren’t ready for the 70’s.
They said that we weren’t ready for the 80’s and 90’s and the institution has failed and being shamed and broken and dragged down and finally, I believe we’re in a space where we can truly hear that and be that from that broken space. I’m getting a signal to kind of wrap up. Okay. We’ve now been dragged, kicking and screaming to a point of powerlessness, brokenness and shame, true reform is now really possible. …before healing can actually start. But yellow, we must accept the noble calling of our baptism. So what is a church? A church is where your heart feels at home. A church is where your inner life is nurtured. A church is where your inner life is challenged. I have got thousands of old boys who found that church. I’ve got thousands of past students who found places where they belong, where their inner life’s nurtured and where their inner life is challenged. So I think to stay connected, we’ve got to, Field of Dreams, build it and they will come. Remember that movie from the 1980’s or something?
So you sitting here now, say, go from the night and build that church of belonging, nurturing growth and if the community where you’re trying to worship isn’t doing it, walk with your feet and slowly, you’ll find the places where you can back to that other slide, back to find that place where you feel at home, where your heart is at home, where your inner life’s nurtured, when your inner life is then sort of challenged. Then when you build that church and you’ve got these wonderful young people that you walked with, the school is the place where they can meet. The school is probably, at the moment, our best place of authenticity. It’s not perfect. I’ll be the first to say it’s not. But at the moment the Catholic school is the best we’ve got where we can walk with these young people and support you as you do it and build this sense of church and something out of that is going to be special and I’m gonna finish up because I’ve got this message from over there. Don’t forget it’s a beautiful church.
Every one of those people on that slide, Jean Donovan and Mum Shirl and Don Bosco and Richard Roar and Pope John XXIII and Theresa and all of them. In the Catholic community, despite our feet of clay and our brokenness, we have got this rich jewel of life. There is no issue of the human heart that the Catholic church has not danced with over and over and over again. At its best, it is awesome. We’ve got to build that again. How do we do it? Invite and involve. I was at St Patrick’s College at Shorncliffe the week before last for their St. Patrick’s Day mass and Father Brian Robe got a boy to come down from the back up top and they commissioned him as a minister of the Eucharist and he’d done all the preparation for it and before communion, he stood there and they had a special ceremony and I looked around and the whole auditorium was in awe and there was a spontaneous round of applause for that boy, grade 11 or year 12. Invite and involve and that applies to each of us too.
So I’ve tried to do a bit of that finally. Don’t go away from tonight feeling burdened as if it’s all too hard. Smile. Great Jesuit priest once said, “Joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of God.” So smile. Be people of love and as I began tonight, that beautiful Pedro Arrupe thing, fall in love and when you fall in love with our broken church and with your beautiful kids, with your partner, when you fall in love and you stay in love despite everything, magic happens.
Let’s pray with Father Paul Costello and our wonderful oblate men. Oh, Jesus, make our hearts so human that others may feel at home with us, so Yours that others may feel at home with You, so forgetful of self that we might simply become the place where You and they meet in the power of Your love and the joy of Your friendship. Amen.