Saturday, January 22, 2011

23rd on the 23rd

Giving thanks this Sunday, January 23rd, on the 23rd anniversary of my ordination as a priest.

During my sabbatical last summer, I was blessed to celebrate a wedding at St. Peter's Church in San Pedro, CA, at the same altar where I first broke the bread for God's people on January 23rd, 1988.

"For what, indeed, is a position of spiritual authority but a mental tempest in which the ship of the heart is constantly shaken by the storms of thoughts, tossed back and forth, until it is shattered by a sudden excess of words like hidden rocks of the sea?" Gregory the Great, The Book of Pastoral Rule I.9

Reading that, I am so grateful for the lessons of Daily Morning and Evening Prayer that have sustained me these 23 years, including last night:

"And Jesus awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, 'Peace! Be still!' And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, 'Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?'” Mark 4:39-40

Priesthood or any other Christian vocation means little if Christ is not there to protect, correct and redirect the storm-tossed heart.

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