Message from Father William Bartoul
My dear Brother Knights,
As many of you know, I was a chaplain in the United States Air Force for 23 years. We had a common expression: “Don’t lose your SA.” SA meant “Situation Awareness.” In other words, stay aware of your surroundings and events and understand their meaning. It’s similar to “Look both ways before you cross the street.” It’s practical advice! It’s right up there with “Keep your head on a swivel” (meaning “stay alert, stay alive”). Without SA we’re ill-prepared for sudden events and only have a 50/50 chance of making the right choices
Christians can lose their SA. It’s becoming more evident that some people of faith go through life with “horse blinders” on and then accuse God of hiding from them. Some people make poor choices that are hurtful and then blame God for the pain.
Here is my insight for this bulletin: No one can take our SA away from us…either we maintain it or we lose it.
We can lose our SA intentionally; people put blinders on to avoid things they don’t want to see. They put plugs in their ears so they don’t hear things that are upsetting. The consequence of those efforts is that blinders and plugs block out everything. As a result, these people don’t see the miracles that God brings into this world every day. They don’t hear the cry of the poor or the rejoicing of the blessed. These are the same people who complain “Why isn’t God doing anything?” God is involved in our world and in our lives…they just don’t see it.
Without SA, we are untrue to ourselves; we cheat ourselves by settling for mediocrity, and too often we are lukewarm and indecisive. Without SA, we won’t know that God is near to us. How can we run toward Someone we don’t see? Or, respond to Someone we don’t hear? Even cloistered monks and nuns have strong SA and consequently have a strong prayer life and closeness to God. Through good communication media, they are aware of where miracles are needed and where miracles are taking place. They are aware and they understand…good SA.
I encourage you to maintain your Situation Awareness. Pay fuller attention to your surroundings and events and understand their meaning. It’s wondrous to see God bringing order out of chaos, putting meaning and purpose into the mundane, and granting His peace to the hearts and minds of His children. God is very present and we can participate in His grace…we just need SA.