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Yes, this is my First Christmas.....as a Deacon of course. Fr. Andrew reminded me and the entire congregation of that, along with the story ...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Jesus Unchains Us!

Every morning I read a short chapter from the book "No ONE but YOU". The same book that I mentioned in an earlier blog. This past Saturday morning I read the chapter titled "Jesus Unchains Us" and chills came over me the more I read this chapter. The author Richard Gribble, CSC gives me the impression he is a Paul Harvey "The rest of the story" kind of guy.

The chapter begins talking about an individual by the name of John Newton and he clearly states that very few people are familiar with the man. You see John Newton was born in a seafaring family and followed in his fathers footsteps and became an apprentice at the age of eleven. Growing up on a ship didn't offer him many opportunities to meet quality individuals. The tough examples lead to a tough life. He would eventually succeed to captain his own ship. He faced a very tough run with his ship that challenged his skill and would begin the process of loosening his chains. He continued for seven years longer and eventually gave up the life completely.  In 1764 he became an Episcopal Priest and was a well known preacher. John worked very hard in the Abolitionist Movement in the United States. In 1779 he wrote some famous autobiographical words that are familiar to all "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see."

Amazing how our Lord is patient and ever forgiving. I've known this song ever since I can remember and because of this knowledge it will forever be changed in my heart. We all face chains that bind us from the Love of Christ, and when we let go and allow Our Lord to transform us, we are able to be what we are meant to be true Holy Disciples. The next morning I was Lector at the 9 am Mass and Amazing Grace was sung by our wonderful church choir. I really had to fight back the tears a few times as I imagined what our Lord accomplished in John Newton.

I pray for us all that we allow Jesus to remove all our chains.

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