"A Word in Season"

Ever have one of those moments, as you go through life, when someone comes along and says just the right word at the right time? It’s usually when we needed it most!

Or did you ever have a song play on the radio, or in the shuffle of the iTunes library, and you just knew that somehow that song was meant just for you?

A moment of inspiration can make all the difference, for it contains a small blessing.

Tucked deep in the Revised Standard Version translation of the Old Testament book of Proverbs, there’s a gem that captures the joy of such a moment:

. . . an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season,
how good it is
! ~ Proverbs 15:23

When I consider this proverb, I understand the goodness of “a word in season.” It can come from God, or through persons, or circumstances. Christians experience this blessing in a very personal way, and a very corporate one.

The first time I heard Pat Gohn speak was at a writer’s conference on Long Island. She had come down from Boston to give a presentation on social media for Catholic writers, and I was so taken with her talk–she was smart, funny, transparently faithful, charming and wise–that I knew I wanted to work with her, someday. I wrote a little about the conference here and mentioned “the mighty Pat Gohn of the Among Women Podcasts.

Yes, I became an instant fan, and when I began managing the Catholic portal at Patheos, I wheedled and pleaded with her to join the Summa This, Summa That blog, as her availability would allow. Once she was there, it quickly became apparent that Pat Gohn did not need a group-blog; she needed and deserved a weekly column!

So you can only imagine the pleasure I take in announcing that the except above comes from Pat’s new column–perfectly entitled “A Word in Season”–which will appear each Thursday, at Patheos!

The focus of Pat’s column is going to be especially helpful for adult Catholics (and curious non-Catholics) who sometimes wonder why we do the things we do, pray the prayers we pray, and celebrate the faith in such a distinctive way; she will be following the Catholic calendar of seasons, saints and feastdays and illustrating the dynamism of Catholicism, and she’ll be doing it in her own crystalline style!

So, do go read her premiere piece. As we head into the blessed and beautiful season of Advent and once again prepare our minds and hearts to explore the never-fully-plundered mystery of the Incarnation, we are going to find ourselves very grateful, I think, to find A Word in Season via Pat Gohn.

About Elizabeth Scalia
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  • http://www.noodlingonit.com Kris, in New England

    As a Christian taking the adult classes to become a Catholic, this is incredibly timely. I’ve never experienced a true Advent Season; I grew up in an evangelical Christian faith that forbid iconography; there was no connection to the Saints and no special celebrations at Christmas – besides the obvious recognition of the birth of Christ.

    And I recently heard a “word in season” that I know came from God. I had to pick up some material for our classes in the Narthex of our church. I went there after work so there wasn’t anyone in church at that time. So I went into the sanctuary to light a candle and pray for help with a serious family problem. I’ve never done anything like that before so it was a very special experience. As I prayed I asked God to please give me a sign for what I am supposed to do with this situation; I had already turned it over to Him months ago and yet – I still struggled and wrestled with my role in this nightmare I find myself in.

    I picked up the materials on my way out and got into my car. As the volume on my radio returned to where it was when I shut the car off, the country station I was listening to was playing the Miranda Lambert song The House That Built Me. If you’ve never heard it, please get to YouTube and give it a listen. It will resonate for so many of us in these troubled times.

    Anyway, as the radio volume came up the song was at its opening verse:

    You know they say
    You can’t go home again

    These words were so profound in that moment after my prayer – I could hardly move or breathe. I had asked for a sign and, wow, there is was. Clear as a bell with very deep meaning for me.

    It gave me such peace; a calmness settled into my soul that has been beyond a blessing ever since.

    I’m sure God has been giving me signs for months; and I’m also sure I wasn’t paying attention – until now.

    A word in season … indeed.

    And on a separate note – I received an e-mail today announcing that Jingle Bell Java is BACK!

  • susan

    I confess I do not believe in organized religion-it’s confusing in all manner and form-therefore I am not a theologian and cannot worship religion of man no matter what denomination or faith.

    That said; my prayers are for an indepth soul-searched explanation as to how 50% of weekly Catholic goers in America can empower a politician who openly advocated the legal murder of human beings who survive the initial legal murder- in a hospital named after Christ-YET must be murdered again because such act of legal murder fulfils the original intent of legal murdering a human being.

    Also, prayers for my friend’s 82 year old mother residing in California who is broken-hearted that her Catholic Church no longer practices the Eucharist instead spends all its time serving Social Justice to the Poor.


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