Gillick, Larry, S.J.
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"Fonly is perhaps a new word for an old, but familiar, regret". We have "fonly" moments when we wish we had skillfully ended an argument with a well-placed comment or reminder. Leaving that encounter you might be saying to yourself, "Fonly I had let him have that one good verbal punch that would have ......" We missed the moment."Fonlies" are available for our missing chances to be a grace, a blessing as well. "Flonly I had been there." "Fonly I had encouraged her with a kind suggestion." These play back the past with not much resolve about the future."Fonly I will be more present to the present moments tomorrow." Grace is never spent; it is the eternal presence of God weaving history out of the threads of time's moments. God deals with us in the "old fashion way" one customer at a time and within the poverty of each second. God does not have "fonly" in the divine vocabulary. God does not wish God had not advised Noah to build an ark. God does not regret our being created. God does not say, "Fonly you had done what I told you." God is the Creator and gives out in abundance these moments within which we assist, or co-create with God, history.As I advance to the state of being an elder, I find myself reflecting often on certain actions and behaviors which embarrass my secret self and judge my past- self as stupid and perhaps reckless. After a deep frown I smile at what exactly I am doing now in my advanced state. I am using my elder-self with its wisdom, enlightenment and experiences and laying them upon my less aware, growing-up self. Those activities were not so stupid then; they were "cool", and self-centered rather than self-accepting. "Fonly" I had been older when I was younger.What we have is the "now" of each second, only one at a time. God continues the creation of those whom we meet second-by-minute. God offers me to you and you to me as creative sacramental chances. Here is the wonderful thing, if I miss the opportunity, God does not "fonly" me, but will give you and me both, the times again. I may have blown it for you here and now, but there will be others blessing you within the ongoing creation of you. I too will be tendered the experiences of being created, deepened, blest by receiving the surprises of time, persons and the finger of God."Fonly" is in my Spell-Checker Dictionary after my writing this little offering. It is being deleted slowly from my personal and quite active thesaurus. Regret about the past is becoming a preparation for the now and the thens which I desire to receive as sacraments of God's creating history through my being receptive to my being a blessing rather than an absence. It is only a glimpse and if only I ......