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  • Fr. Terry Ryan, CSP

The Changeling

Fr. Terry meditated on change. Given the violence and hatred and prejudice in the world today, God knows we need change.

The Changeling One day my sister Maureen said to me, "Terry, you are a "Changeling." "What is a changeling?" I asked "It is where the devil changes babies in the hospital. You know how when Mommy comes home from the hospital she has a baby?" "Yes." "Well, Mommy is good and loving so the hospital gave her a good baby. But when no one was looking, the devil came along and changed the babies, took the good one and gave Mommy you." 'Where does the devil get the bad baby?" I asked "Oh, lots of places. Heretics, Communists and Atheists all have bad babies." "Well, where did the good baby go?" I asked "Greg Carroll became the good baby. I know his sister, and she says he always obeys because he loves his Mommy and his big sister." "Well, I obey too, so I don't think I was switched." "Yes, you obey Mommy if she will give you a treat. And you only obey me to avoid being punished by my smothering you with a pillow in your sleep. You don't obey because you love. You only think of yourself. You obey to get something for yourself or to avoid punishment." Years later, I have days when I wonder if my sister Maureen was at times correct about why I do the right thing. To get something for me, or to avoid some punishment is not "Love." I am glad God loves me when God gets nothing back. Running out of time to change! One can only hope.

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