Saturday, April 13, 2013

Day to Day

I have been going through a dry spell, spiritually.  This is really unusual for me, especially in the Easter Season.  It might be due to the weather.  Perhaps I am just getting old.  I have stopped eating sweets and junk food.  They were my comfort foods, so I am leaning to cope without them.  Getting healthy is not yet fun for me.  I hope I will recapture my that sense of wellness I had when I was young and healthy.

I also know that, as God calls me deeper and deeper in the spiritual life He wants me to be more dependant on Him whether the feelings are there or not.  I have gone through various levels of this in the past, usually not very sucessfully.  I would try to conjure up feelings with sugar highs.  (I don't do drugs  and I seldom drink).  Sometimes I would get the adrenaline flowing by doing scary things like jumping off cliffs.  As I age, my body can no longer endure any of these attempts.

I'm not really sure what I am trying to say with this post, but maybe just letting people know that this smiling, happy priest also struggles will help others to know that I am normal and they are normal.  I have had spiritual direction with people who think there is something wrong with them because they don't "feel" anything when they pray.  One oft repeated epitaph from lapsed Catholics is that they "didn't get anything from Mass."

Even in my dryness, I know that I am getting more than I can imagine from Mass.  I am getting the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ each time I receive Holy Communion!  I am getting graces from God.  I am getting strenth to persevere in my faith.  I am getting contact with fellow Catholics.  I am getting an hour per Mass where I am free from phones, media, noise and demands from other people.  I am getting to spend time with my Savior Jesus who is substantially present, not just symbolically or metaphorically, in the Catholic Church.  This is NOT available in non-Catholic worship spaces.

Praise God.  Just typing this has made me feel much better already!

I have been away from my blog for so long that I lost 3 followers.  That is significant since I only had 25!  Anyway, I guess it is time to start rebuilding readership.  

I think I will start reposting with my Easter Letter.  Hope you enjoy!

He is Risen!  He is Risen, Indeed!   Alleluia!

The long days of preparation are over.  The fasting has come to an end.  It is now time to celebrate the most extraordinary gift of the ages, the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

This has certainly been an extraordinary Lent for Catholics!  Within the span of these fourty days we witnessed the resignation of our beloved Holy Father, Benedict XVI and the election of our new Holy Father!  Not only those events, but the new Pope chose the  name Francis, breaking with the usual practice of choosing the name of one of the Popes of old.  

Pope Francis, named after the saint of the people, St. Francis of Assisi, continues to inspire us.  He paid his own hotel bill!  He rides the bus!  He washes the feet of prisioners instead of priests!  He meets with his predecessor, something which has never occured in the history of Catholicism!  (The reason being that the predecessor is always dead...)  He leaves his “pope-mobile” to bless and embrace a man afflicted with a handicap!  He nurses the wounds of aids patients!

To even the casual observer, these are extraordinary events.  The Pope is a public figure with more gravitas than the president of the United States.  It would certainly be news if any political leader, including our own president, paid his own bill.  Can you even imagine the Queen embracing one of her handicapped subjects?  Would Putin put his life at risk to visit a prison? Has Angela Merkel, the most powerful woman in the world according to Forbes, ever stooped to wash the feet of the poor?  Is it likely that Netanyahu would do anything other than visit a hospital as a photo opp?   

Yet, the Pope has done all this and much more, with true humility and dignity, modeling for the world a new style of servant leadership.  

More importantly, our Vicar of Christ is clearly walking in the footsteps of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ..  He will still tend to the duties of his office.  He must meet with dignitaries and world leaders of countries large and small.  He continues to preside at all the most important and elaborated religious ceremonies with a regal bearing reflecting the Kingship of Christ.  All this is fathfully done as a world leader of the Catholic Church.

What an extraordinary Lent this has been.  I am, however, glad that it does not stop with Lent, but leads to Easter.  Our service and sacrifice leads to Jesus!  It all starts with His love and results in a deeper realtionship with the One whose Resurrection we celebrate.

He is Risen!  He is Risen, Indeed!  Alleluia!

Easter Blessings,