On Christmas Eve at the end of the Children’s Mass, the priest called out a parishioner who has worked tirelessly in preparing children s liturgy and preparation for first holy communion for many years and told her that she had been awarded the benemerenti.
The benemerenti is recognition from the Pope for services to the church and this comes about as a result of people nominating a particular individual and the request being approved by the local diocese.
I was pleased to see this lady receive her award, and it is was well deserved, but I also felt a sense of anxiety that other worthy parishioners had been overlooked.
I think my anxiety is misplaced!
Being Recognised by our community is no doubt a wonderful accolade – particularly when it is unexpected and surprising and others have been collaborating behind the scenes to bring your gifts to wider notice, but this does not in any way intentionally de-value the contribution of others.
I think that the way to view this is to feel the joy of the recipient and to share in the honour as a community – it is the community being recognised in its broader sense.
I think Being Recognised is the work of self for the most part.
I have been coming to terms, as part of my ongoing journey to love self, of my hitherto insatiable need for affirmation that I am doing well at work. I am working in this period of development on actively doing all I can to suppress the search for it, and just quietly notice the unsolicited feedback which I receive in a variety of ways.
I am onto the work of self, to quietly notice and recognise my own contribution in the world, at work, at home and in my parish and community and if I can acknowledge to self, my own contribution to the lives of others, then that should be all the recognition that I need.
My next blog will be: The Joy of Intimacy