On Rectory Renovations

Not that it’s in our budget in the least to undertake such a breadth of renovations, but that’s one good looking dining room.

No, it is for me to live amongst the poor and strive for holiness. (Not that I am in any way living amongst ‘the poor’.)

Who are the poor?  Sure, those with little or no funds.  How about those who do not know Jesus Christ? Who haven’t been Baptized? Who are lost in other spiritualities which are a dead end?

Striving to live a life of holiness in an unholy culture.  Which brings to mind a prayer of Catherine Doherty.

 

Arise – go! Sell all you possess.
Give it directly, personally to the poor.
Take up My cross (their cross) and follow Me,
going to the poor, being poor,
being one with them, one with Me.

Little – be always little! Be simple, poor, childlike.

Preach the Gospel with your life – without compromise!
Listen to the Spirit. He will lead you.

Do little things exceedingly well for love of Me.

Love…love…love, never counting the cost.

Go into the marketplace and stay with Me.
Pray, fast. Pray always, fast.

Be hidden. Be a light to your neighbour’s feet.
Go without fears into the depths of men’s hearts. I shall be with you.

Pray always. I will be your rest.

One does what what can in the service of our Lord – one day at a time.

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A Reflection on Being Pastor

The picture is entitled “The Damned.”   A Pastor’s efforts are almost all geared towards saving people from becoming “The Damned,” saving people from eternal damnation, and seeing that they arrive at the pearly gates with a warm welcome into paradise.

We strive to get to know Jesus Christ in a full life of prayer, and to work with others to do so as well.

We tend to the Sacramental life of the Church: We teach, we preach, we hear Confessions; we celebrate Masses, Weddings, Funerals, Baptisms, Confirmations. We meet with people for spiritual direction, we meet with endless committees and councils. We exhort to holiness of life and try our best to live up to it ourselves.

Don’t aim for purgatory – aim for Heaven itself. And by all means, avoid eternal damnation at all costs!

In that vein, here is a great reflection from Fr Eddie Gros SJ the pastor at Holy Name of Jesus in New Orleans.  I’ll be praying for him; I certainly know what he’s going through. I have learned though, that there’s only so much you can do on any given day. We can’t “do it all.”

A Reflection on Being a Pastor

“PLEASE PRAY FOR ME

“Being a PASTOR has become almost like playing one of those video games set at an impossibly high level. And although fulfillment in ministry is always what keeps me going—I love the sacraments and I love being a part of people’s spiritual journeys—the expectations with regard to my management and conciliatory skills are about to push me over the edge.

“First of all, I didn’t write the Sermon on the Mount or proclaim the Reign of God. It is a very challenging and demanding message… Yet people, especially in the US, get angry when I do not dilute or mute the demands Jesus makes. I have the option to either commit the sin of distorting Jesus’ message to appease people’s political preferences, or be condemned with being either LIBERAL or CONSERVATIVE. To divide the Gospel message into one of these two categories—otherwise known as binary thinking—constitutes a great pressure and a constant temptation to commit serious material mortal sin by being untruthful to who I am.

“Secondly, the demands of administration and the skills the faithful expect of me are impossible for Jesus to meet, even on a good day.

(1) To preach in a dynamic, captivating, and original way, BUT KEEP IT BRIEF
(2) To be a perfect example of patience and emotional equilibrium
(3) to know how to counsel in any situation
(4) To resolve problems whereby I am perceived as both “tough and demanding” as well as “compassionate, understanding, forgiving, and conciliatory”
(5) To bring groups together whose inner dynamics and purposes are frequently at odds with one another
(6) To be a friend, teacher, mentor, expert in dealing with children. a reconciler, expert with adolescents, marriage counselor, leadership promoter, advocate in interpersonal conflicts, long-range planner, challenger and consoler, tough and gentle, strong enough to fire people from their jobs yet patient enough to allow them to grow and develop, biblical scholar, able to praise and able to criticize, generally available round the clock, considered lazy when asking for one day off a week,
(7) A BUSINESS MAN WHO CONDUCTS CHURCHES AND SCHOOLS LIKE BUSINESSES WHILE ALL THE WHILE USING MONEY, MATERIAL GOODS, AND CHURCH ASSETS ACCORDING TO GOSPEL VALUES

“AGAIN, I DOUBT WHETHER JESUS ON A GOOD DAY CAN FULFILL ALL OF THIS

“Reflections by Fr. Eddie Gros, S.J.”

And so it begins

Another day, another opportunity to glorify the Lord in all that we do.  The yearnings of our hearts must be fulfilled in what we do, in what we bring about, in our cooperation with the Divine assistance. (That would grace, of course.)

My heart yearns for the glory of God. And yet I’m more often than not like St. Peter in Gesthemane; caught in the distractions of a disillusioned world, sure of my knowledge of how the Lord will work.

That’s why we meditate upon the Passion of the Lord, though isn’t it. To keep us grounded in the realities of a life which is not pretty, not beautiful, not easy. Being crucified with Christ means laying down upon the cross and dying.  We die to our passions, we die to our wants, we die to our selves, we die to the world.

And then we have to get up with that very cross and carry it through life. It’s a yoke that the Lord says is easy – a burden he says is light.

St. Paul writes, in the letter to the Hebrews:

“You are never to walk in darkness; the great and final day is not to enfold you in darkness. Do not let the night and mist of ignorance steal upon you. So that you may always enjoy the light of knowledge, keep always in the daylight of faith, hold fast always to the light of love and peace.” 

This day is given to us in the light and the love of Jesus Christ – a day unlike any other that will ever be. It is our gift, and our opportunity to dwell in light, and to allow the Lord shine upon those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death. And to know that our feet are guided into the way of peace.

St. Michael the Archangel, ora pro nobis.

 

The Wandering Years

I had a conversation with our Archbishop recently, and he mentioned that a while back it seemed as if I was wandering. I wasn’t, really. And I had zero intention of naming this site after the whole notion of wandering. Because I’m not wandering anywhere.

But the hour has grown late after my site was destroyed – which was entirely my fault.

It’s certainly fitting that it was destroyed, as everything else is being destroyed around me at the moment.  Which means that it’s a time of renewal. A time of grace. A time of – spiritual maturation?

So, as I wander through the rubble and rebuild, refurbish, remodel; St. Joseph falling asleep and listening to an angel in a dream (even though it’s not really a dream,) is the perfect way to start off this new adventure.  I’m certainly falling asleep. And the angels around here are bidding me to bed verily, soon, soon, soon.  Anon to bed. Anon to sleep. To dream.

Back to the matters at hand, so many adventures are starting I don’t even know where to begin describing them.

We’ll take things one step at a time, shall we?