Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Thinking About the Church--As It is Meant To Be

St. Paul writes in his letter to the Phillippians: "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worth of praise, think about these things" (Phil 4:8).

As I conclude my day today, I am taking St. Paul's advice and am thinking about these things.  I am thinking about the three men who came to the BU Catholic Center this evening and gave a witness about living their life as Catholic men in the work world.  There was a lawyer, a finance guy, and a doctor.  They shared their experience and their Faith to 40 or so students.  These three men--after a day of work--came to witness to their life in Christ for the sake of their younger brothers and sisters in Christ.

I am thinking about hearing confessions today and about offering Mass for twenty of our students.  I am thinking about the beautiful friendships that I witnessed today among our students and staff. 

I am thinking about the way in which our students and staff pray together and develop programs for the Catholic Center.

I am thinking about hearing one young man say about another young man, "He's the reason I am here at the Catholic Center."

I am thinking about two Jesuit seminarians (one of whom was ordained this weekend as a deacon) who serve the Catholic Center and who fill me with a sense of joy and hope.

I am thinking about how the friendship of the Church is so beautiful.  I am thinking how Christ reaches me through the people with whom he surrounds me.  I am thinking how beautiful it is that even after seventeen years of being a priest, I am still surprised by the love of Christ made manifest in the people whom I shepherd.  I am thinking about how I am moved and educated by people half my age.

I am thinking about the way in which the people I am surrounded with every day love each other and share the joy of the Gospel with one another.

I am thinking of all of the new faces who came to our spaghetti dinner tonight.  I am thinking about people living something beautiful together.  

I am grateful because my need for the Church and its friendship is great.  I would find it impossible to  live priesthood as someone who comes in to do a professional job.  I need to be moved by fellow pilgrims and to live the Christian life within a friendship.  In this fellowship of friends I am the priest, but this priest needs to be moved by the witness of others.  It is in this companionship that Christ continues to move me and to convince me of Himself.  In the face of these witnesses, I recognize again my need for Christ and am filled with renewed gratitude for his saving Presence.

St. Paul advises us to think about such things because they convince us all over again about Christ.  I spent today surrounded by what the Church is meant to be.  I spent today surrounded by what the Church is.  St. Paul is right.  It is good to think about these things.

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