So I invited our new parochial vicar out for dinner at the farm. As we neared the farm I casually dropped the information, “By the way, did I mention we have to load 200 bales of hay into the barn before we eat?” I have since learned what a good Joe he is.
Sebastian also came along. He had the uncanny knack for standing exactly where the next bale of hay was to be thrown. It only took one bale landing on his head to break him of that terrible habit.
IN OTHER NEWS:
This past week we had the feast of St. John Marie Vianney. It was interesting reading about him this year with particular attention since it is the Year for Priests. I envy his love of his parishioners and the Blessed Sacrament. I pray to be a good priest in that way.
From time to time a new insight dawns while celebrating the Mass and I think, “Wow, I have to remember this forever!” After a while that is replaced by something else amazing about this sacrament. The depth of meaning and love in this sacrament is so great that we will live our whole lives and forget more than we remember in our insights and still have only scratched the surface.
Anyway, nearing the consecration I started wondering what might have been going through St. Vianney’s mind as he celebrated the Eucharist. (I think a lot during the Mass which is probably why I cannot remember ANYTHING that is not stick ‘em noted in.) Lifting the bread slightly above the altar and praying the words of institution the notion of St. Vianney’s great love for his people came to mind and I prayed to be able to love my people so. Almost at the same time I thought of his lips uttering the words of institution and of his great love of God present to us as the Eucharist. Then at the words, “Do this in memory of me,” when Jesus is lifted for a moment of adoration before the people it occurred to me in a new way what a privilege it is to be a priest. It was like a formal introduction of your two great loves: the God of Love being introduced to the Church and you near the center of it witnessing the moment. Wow- what a privilege! And very humbling. And a joy to be able just to stand in that intersection for this amazing encounter. Thanks St. Vianney for making a bit clearer this wonderful, wonderful moment in the life of a priest.