*Grin* I love Fr. Piotr.
Anyway, since Fr. Piotr is in Poland for the rest of this month, we've had a wonderful little monastic priest offering the Mass in his stead. He is very soft-spoken, slow and deliberate in his speech. I have no doubt this is very much due to his monastic lifestyle. However, his homilies have grated on the nerves of parishoners around me. They complain they can't hear him, that he doesn't make sense, or that he talks for too long.
Honestly, I can't help but smile when he gets up there anymore. At first, I was taken a bit aback by his reiteration of the Gospel because I always look to a priest to expound rather than regurgitate. However, it soon dawned on me that he wanted us to REALLY listen to the words of the Gospel and find deeper appreciation and understanding within them. Sure, his homilies are upwards of 15 minutes, but I also realize this is probably the one shot he gets each week to actually speak to a congregation! He's probably overjoyed with his blessing of filling in for Fr. Piotr! Ha ha ha. That thought alone makes me so happy, because I know what it is to yearn for connection through communication. So my heart is happy for him throughout his homilies, and I'll make it a point to thank him for his time after each Mass until Fr. Piotr comes back.
I should also remember to be thankful for these lengthy homilies, as I'm given more time to sit in the Presence of the Tabernacle, which contains God, Himself. Though unable to take part in Adoration (our parish doesn't currently offer that), adoring Him through the Tabernacle is the next best thing... akin to St. Joseph's adoration of the Christ-Child as he knelt before the pregnant Blessed Mother.
Sometimes we forget that priests need love as well. They're not simply there to pass out Communion for us so we can say "See, God? I came to see You this week, now please grant all my requests." They, too, are human with human needs, and we must be mindful that they, too, have struggles and pains like the rest of us. Hug priests always tightly within your heart, and if ever you grow upset about the length of homilies or your inability to hear / understand his words, pray to the Holy Spirit that He may shower His Grace upon the homilist, or that He opens your ears and heart to his message.