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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 ...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Discovering God in the darkness of the world!

Yes the title is a mouthful, yes the title is provocative, and yes it carries immense meaning to me especially today. When I was interviewed to be an aspirant to the Permanent Diaconate I was asked a very challenging question ............ "Of all the things that you could do as a Deacon, what would be the one you would like least to do!" I didn't take very long to think about this one ........... "prison ministry!" 

Okay so now that a few years has passed in my life where am I at now? Well for several months now I have been wrestling with this challenge, prison ministry. In our final class of the year we discussed the passage in Matthew where the Lord stated how we can care for his children and the one with "when you visited me in prison" hit me hard. 

I have been praying for a long time about this and I shared this with my wife, who in her wonderful ways supports me 100%, there was never you don't really want to do this! Just a few weeks ago we had a small gathering at Tom's house and Deacon Greg was there and shared that next summer we will be working on a practicum, and Terry quickly jumped in and said, "Prison Ministry!" 

Tonight I had an awesome night, spent with my Pastor and Spiritual Director. I shared with him my thoughts, and my feelings. I opened the door and asked if there was anything else that he thought might be productive to help out the parish. He couldn't come up with another option and gave me great insight on how to prepare for this for next year. We spent maybe an hour an half together and it was great!

Well tonight I'm home and I turned on my Kindle fire to listen to Pope Benedict's daily reflections. Today is the feast of the beheading of John the Baptist. I guess if I needed only a few more subtle hints on which way to go with this, I got them tonight. The words were magnificent and inspiring. John the Baptist discovers God in the darkness of the world (in prison), he experiences a metanoya in prison (a change of heart, repentance), we need to move from the visible to the invisible to discover God (who are probably the most invisible children of the Lord; prisoners!), we will know God to the extent that we are set free from ourselves, and John the Baptist's greatest words "He must increase and I must decrease!"
I literally could go on with this, with all that happened tonight! The answer is simple, follow, and trust!

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis,


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