Monday, August 10, 2009


For some reason I am not having any luck downloading any pictures other than the one below. Perhaps I will post them tomorrow.
Friday night was free until a phone call came in. An emergency phone call to the rectory is not unusual though the subject matter was. The hay at the farm was delivered, it was threatening rain and there was no one to help load it in.

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.


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.


Anonymous said...

Awesome reflection. Thanks, Father, for giving us insight into the significance of what is happening on the altar. The celebrant who is careful to offer Mass with the right interior disposition provides an excellent example for us in the pews.

Anonymous said...

Fr. V., I've noticed that when you "say Mass," you are not simply reading aloud the words in the missal; you seem to be paying attention to what you are saying. It is as if the words come "through you" to us.

Anonymous said...

That farm hand looks right at home with the hay. Ora et labora.

Mikki said...

Are there three Anonymouses? Or maybe that’s Anonymi. Or is it one Anonymous suffering from an identity crisis? Or maybe that’s a crisi. Do you all know one another? It’s all very confusing.