Saturday, February 23, 2013

Beginning to Say Goodbye

This weekend, I begin sharing with my parishioners the news that I am being transferred.  I suspect that this experience might dominate my blog posts for a while.  This morning, however, I will let St. Augustine describe the experience I have had here for the past thirteen years:

"There were other things done in their company which more completely seized my mind: to talk and to laugh with them; to do friendly acts of service for one another; to read well-written books together; sometimes to tell jokes and sometimes to be serious; to disagree at times, but without hard feelings. just as a man does with himself; and to keep our many discussions pleasant by the rarity of such differences; to teach things to the others and to learn from them; to long impatiently for those who were absent, and to receive with joy those joining us.  These and similar expressions, proceeding from the hearts of those who loved and repaid their comrades' love by way of countenance, tongue, eyes, and a thousand pleasing gestures, were like fuel to set our minds ablaze and to make but one out of many."--The Confessions

That has been my life as a priest here.  And if some young man thought the Lord might be calling him to be a priest, I'd tell him that there is no greater joy than to be a shepherd for the flock.

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