Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Things Like This Make Me Love Being A Priest

Sometimes, the greatness of the Catholic Faith and the greatness of the priesthood are revealed to me not in the grand public events of life, but in the very small and quiet privileges that God gives to the priest.  Today I had such a privilege.

On Sunday after Mass, a college student home for Spring Break came out of church and said, "hello" to me.  He's a good kid; quiet, normal, dryly funny, and mature.  I told him he should give me a call if he had time and we could have lunch one day while he was home.  To my surprise, the text arrived shortly after Noon today.  "I'm around if you want to get lunch."  So, we met up and went to a lunch place nearby and got the unusual sounding special, "Italian Hamburger Subs."

During lunch he said, "Oh, I had a question for you.  On Ash Wednesday, a kid in my dorm saw me around Ten o'clock and noticed that I had the ashes on my forehead and he was bummed out because he forgot to get them.  So, I took some of the ashes off my forehead, put them on his forehead and told him, 'Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel'.  Do those ashes count?"

I thought that story was awesome.  And, because I'm a priest, I was able to hang out today with that young man, eat an "Italian Hamburger Sub," and hear of a beautiful Catholic witness to the faith.  I love being a priest.

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