Thursday, November 8, 2007


When I was much younger, had much more hair but a lot less self-esteem, God was kind enough to send me a friend named Jim. Jim was somewhat popular and talented, kind of a wild hair that marched to the beat of his own drum. I was well liked but a bit of nerd I suppose and Jim was exactly the type of friend that I needed at the time.

Jim was constantly popping up wanting to go out and carouse. I worked for a movie theater and would occasionally have to lock up afterwards, the last person walking out into a dark and deserted street. Often Jim would be there sitting on top of his Volkswagen Beetle smoking a cigarette and informing that we were going to hang out.

If I were working too hard, he would come a drag me away from my projects forcing me to take a break. I’d fight it but was always grateful that he made me get away.

It was quite a thing having a friend like that, especially at that point in my life. Jim was not just a friend but also a friend who pursued my company. It seemed wholly undeserved but I had it anyway and that meant an incredible amount to a young man without an over abundance of self-esteem.

Can you imagine what I mean? I wish a friend like that for you. But even more importantly, I hope you realize that you have God that pursues you like that. A God! The God! When we wandered from Him He did not let us go our way but came down to earth to pursue us and united us again with our Father. He spared nothing. Thought you even worth dying for. The only challenge is, we need to realize it.

Sometimes it is hard. His life, death, and resurrection as a gift is believable for humanity in general, but for me personally? Yes. “Before you were knit together in your mother’s womb, I knew you.” His birth was for you. His life was for you. His teaching was for you. His death was for you. His ascension was the pattern He established for you. And since that was not enough, He touches you personally in the sacraments. He makes Himself vulnerable to you by making bread His Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity for you, and not just as something to see and worship from afar, but to take on your tongue or into your hands and be consumed by you. Is there anything else He could possibly give? Everything He can give He gives to you. Waits patiently for you day after day, year after year if need be. Always ready to welcome home a prodigal son with ring and robe and calf.

Our part is to become aware of His love and allowing Him to love us. He loves you no less than He loves the one who seems His most beloved on earth. The only difference is that some have the gift of acknowledging and accepting that love, cooperating with that love, and allowing that love into their lives.

Risk it. Risk being so radically loved. Risk knowing it. Risk knowing that even though you have not earned it, He gives it to you anyway. That’s just the way it is.


Anonymous said...

That was an almost perfect description of my youth. It's crystal clear to me now as an adult that God was forming me for the future. A person can persue humilty, but some lucky people have it thrust upon them as a gift. It prepares a person to kind and empathetic and detached (in a good way). It preps you to offer the kind of comfort that people fail to find in drugs and psychotherapy.

Adrienne said...


Jeron said...

This is the best post on any blog I've read this week. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Fr thank you for this post; it contains much upon which to meditate.


Adoro te Devote said...

Fr V., I read this post this morning when I got to work and I REALLY NEEDED IT. Thank you.

And amazing that you have that magic phrase "let God love you" that's been my theme for the week.

Oh...and my best friend in high school was much like your friend. I was quiet, and shy, and conservative...and she was wild and almost out of control. We balanced each other. And boy, did I need her in my life, and her family became my second family. God only knows where I would be were it not for her and for them.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, true.. and I feel a poem coming on, from that sweet old Catholic who was sent away from the priesthood as well as from operating tables. Also, you've reminded me of my best friend in high school and well beyond; I know that if we should ever meet again, we'll easily pick up where we left off: laughing. You've stirred sweet memories, as well as spoken of Christ's own love for us. I'm glad you weren't turned away from the priesthood.