There are two little parables that Jesus gives in Mark 2:21-22: 1) don’t sew new, unshrunken material on old cloth or the tear will become worse, and 2) don’t put new wine into old wineskins or the skins will burst and all will be lost.
New leather is soft and pliable, old leather gets crusty, hard, stretched out. Humans tend to get rigid and stiff in areas as if we don’t have anything new to learn. When we become “experts,” the temptation is to stop being teachable.
But Jesus calls us out of our comfort zones, to be open to change and to learning new things. Father Thomas was good at calling us out of our comfort zones to do new things. It stretched us, challenged us, but showed us that we had more gifts than we thought, that we could do more than our self-imposed limitations places on us.
This is one of the reasons why doing a daily examen can be helpful — so that we stay open to whatever God wants to teach or show us. In the prayer of examen, we try to: