Month: <span>June 2021</span>

There are days, and there are days. Today was one of those days.

I’ll spare you the gory details, but the deepest levels of the Vatican where the filth is churned would be an apt analogy, or the deepest pit of hell where the stench is thick would be another. Yes, an adult underpants blowout did occur, not unknown among those with ALS. It happens.

When an all-out blow out like this I am reminded of how of the Lord was born in a cave, among the smell of the sheep, but also his of exultation of mere creatures stuck in the veritable dung of a stable to be raised to the dignity of children. He lowers himself so that our dignity might be raised. He was born in the stable so we could be born to heaven, but not only that, through Holy Baptism, we, even in this life, we can by grace be raised even to the dignity of the priest.

Great dignity transforms the babe baptized, and the priests Ordained. Who but dare but speak of the priest and his dignity than the one who deigned to be too humble to become a priest.

Kissing your feet, I implore you all my brothers, and with the utmost affection I beseech you to show the greatest possible reverence and honor to the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . Consider your dignity O Brothers who are priests, and be holy because He is holy . . . It is a great misfortune and a miserable fault to have Him thus near you, and to be thinking of anything else. Let the whole man be seized with dread; let the whole world tremble; let the heavens exult when Christ, the Son of the living God, is on the altar in the hands of the priest. O amazing splendor and astounding condescension! O sublime humility! O humble sublimity! The Master of the universe, God Himself and Son of God humbles Himself so far as to hide Himself for our salvation under the feeble appearance of bread! See brothers the humility of God . . . keep nothing of yourselves for yourselves, so that He may possess you entirely, who has given Himself wholly for you. ~ St. Francis of Assisi

When these things happen, I shake my head at the absurdity of it all, and offer it up. These, my brothers and sisters, children of the highest God, are my sacrifice offered for you. This is my body, dung covered as it is, given for you.

You too, can make sacrifice. Maybe not as dramatic as mine. And if you are a priest! Then wondrous is the Sacrifice you make. NEVER, EVER, forget your dignity! But also your humility! You too were snatched out of the stench of sin, then through Holy Baptism washed clean and raised to the dignity of son, and then, wonder of wonders, you, and I! were raised to the dignity of the priesthood.

Forget not, my son, where you have come, nor where you are going.

Some have enquired how I’m doing, and whether I have given up the ghost. I have not. I know I’m mostly alive because once again, I had a ride in ambulance after a harrowing coughing fit. To describe them is somewhere between having a tremendous amount of phlegm in your lungs, but no ability to cough it up, all the while felling like I might need… How shall I say this delicately… Adult underpants.

Speaking of giving up the ghost, how long has it been since your last confession? If it’s more than a month, time to darken the door of a pious priests confessional, lest you unexpectedly give up the ghost.

One of these spats costs me a lot in energy and emotion. I find myself crying over things that we take for granted, like the day I went to the hospital my dog, Oliver, waited all day outside till I returned. Such loyalty in man and beast is rare, and blessed the man who finds it. So, I cry about this, that, but mostly prayer. I wept copiously at the confirmation of my nephew about being a priest forever. Those moments, so often taken for granted, should be more often wept over. My Spiritual Father tells me this is good. I believe him.

I also have a full-time nurse in my sister Annie. She is a nurse by profession, and has college debt. There is no end to what she does for me, and much to her joy, the hospital bed arrived to day. I’m not sold on the idea yet, but time will tell.

I guess what I’m getting at is I’m slowing down. Trips and visits, especially emotional ones take time to recover. So I am not, to consternation of certain inhabitants of hell, going away, at not least anytime soon.

So, we keep praying for one another, and especially these days, for the unity of the church. I promise that I pray for the readers of this blog, especially my benefactors.

Go to St. Joseph! Go to Our Lady of Fatima!

Some of my faithful readers have wondered where I have been. No, much to the consternation of the devil, I’m still alive and preaching.

I had the honor and privilege of making a rare public appearance to, technologically mediately, preach at the nuptials of one of my cousins. Which here follows:

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

These words come from St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. It inspired me in what to say today, but not in a prideful way, but in a way that acknowledges what you can plainly see. I, like St. Paul, have been given a great cross to bear, and so in a humble way I want to encourage you Jordan and Paige, to imitate Jesus the Messiah by imitating me.

I think most of you have been to enough family weddings to know the basic message of my marriage homilies. But in case you need a recap, it comes from the book of Ephesians where St Paul reminds Married couples that it is the husband’s role to love his wife in the way Jesus did, on the Cross, by dying for his wife so that through the husbands dying to self he may present his bride pure and undefiled to God on the day of her death.

In short, it is your job Jordan, to get your beautiful bride Paige, no matter the cost, to heaven.. And when I say no matter the cost, I mean it.

Since I last preached at a family wedding, I have learned a lot about suffering and what it means to give everything for the sake of the Beloved.

I don’t normally preach about myself at weddings, but I think I am an example, even though a poor one, of what it means to give everything for the sake of the bride.

You see, we priests are married in a way too. On the day of our ordination, we symbolically lay on the cold, hard, floor of the cathedral. It’s a symbolic gesture that we are laying it all down for the sake of our bride, the Church. Like you Jordan, on that day I committed to the Cross. I committed to do whatever it takes to get my bride the Church, to heaven. And I meant it. I pray that you do too. I hope you mean it even, if God forbid, you suffer from a debilitating disease, you offer it all for your bride, that she will appear, because of your cross, before God spotless and undefiled.

But it means that you will encounter the Cross. The Lord has given me a particularly hard, yet beautiful Cross to offer for the salvation of my bride. I choose it, like you should choose whatever Cross comes your way for the salvation of your bride, even if it takes away your ability to walk, talk, eat, and breath. All for the bride! All for the one we love! All for the salvation of the bride!

I pray that God spares everyone this disease, but if not, I pray that they offer it willingly for their bride.

This is why I say be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

Christ suffered much more than me, but my suffering is no walk in the park. You Jordan, will have, I pray, lesser sufferings, but no matter what it is, it must be for your bride. And you Paige, your job is to receive the love Jordan offers you. Whether it means laying down his literal life like I am called to do for my bride, or something more simple like taking out the trash or giving a foot rub. There are many ways to die for your bride. But if you want to get her to heaven, then die you must. It’s not optional.

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.