Good morning!

This morning I’m going to write a little blog on asking questions!

It was inspired by an incident yesterday where I met a priest who all but put me on trial!!

No sooner had I answered one question but 3 more came with about as little sensitivity as a bull in a China shop!

I suppose after years of it I’m somewhat used to it and so keeping my calm I said it to him!

“I feel like I’m on trial here, no sooner do I answer one question but you bolt in with 3 more with no sensitivity. Some of these questions are painful and stir up old wounds and while I don’t mind answering, give me a break”!

He defended his behaviour saying that he was trying to get to know me and so I repeated again to him “you can get to know me by asking gently”!

Anyway the rest of our meeting went ok and to be honest I could see that he wasn’t aware that his questions were insensitive!

Nonetheless it made me think how careful we must be when we ask others questions about their lives and especially about the sensitive areas of their lives!

I grew up in the Irish countryside where many people were renouned for their ability to ask questions and I often remember my mother coming off the phone astounded at what some people had asked her!

Of course we can all get it wrong at times and I’m sure I’ve annoyed people at times too by asking questions I shouldn’t or asking without sensitivity.

So what is the secret? Body language!

When we ask questions we shouldn’t look at people like they were a goldfish void of emotions but we should look at them with sensitivity knowing that our questions may stir up old wounds or may be inappropriate!

There are a number of ways to tell! A few for example!!

Tears!!! If a person starts crying you don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure that they are upset!

Voice! You can often hear pain or anger or hurt in a person’s voice! Don’t make things worse!

Facial expressions!

And even if you are not so sensitive to read body language you can ask yourself these questions!

Is it any of my business?

Do I know this person well enough?

Would I like to be asked this?!

And so today is Friday and often on Friday’s we think of the sacred heart of Jesus.

May our hearts today be united with His heart and may we talk and interact with other people with the love, dignity and respect that Jesus would!

May we especially pray for priests who are on the front line so to speak that they may not put people on trial but rather that they may smile!

Bless your day!

Michael