Saturday, September 21, 2013

Hospitality and love are free

Nearly thirty years in the priesthood informs what I do as a counselor in my office under the altar, next to the Parents' Day Out (PDO) program.  Of course it does.  I offer what I can, when I can. As I grow in the combination of priest and counselor and spiritual director and writer, I find I can offer more and more, even as I can receive more and more from others and from the world.  My own therapist/supervisor/consultant/spiritual director reminded me of this recently.  I pay for the sessions with him, but the hospitality and love are free.

There is plenty
To do
In my office
Under the altar.
First sessions are consultations
And free.
I have raised my regular hourly rate.
Since the ATM machine delivers
Twenty dollar bills,
I continue to charge
In multiples
Of twenty.
The church rate has now gone
From three-quarters
To half-price.
I do not take insurance.
I will never take insurance.
Confessions are heard
Completely free.
I continue to charge nothing
To care.
I still care for those
Who have moved on.
They are tucked away
In the corners of my heart.
Hospitality and love
Completely free.
They will keep me occupied
With plenty to do
In my office
Under the altar.
And above.

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