I heard something wonderful yesterday.


A regular reader of this blog responded to one of my posts thinking it was from Patrick, so I thought I’d take a moment to remind everyone that the proprietor of this blog is on vacation for a couple of weeks. I don’t want my old friend saddled with the blame for my banalities. I’m sure Patrick wouldn’t subject you to his exploits in landscaping.

Hmmm. Actually, he probably would.

The only responsibility Mr. Madrid can be saddled with in connection with my musings lies in having asked me to be one of his guest bloggers while he’s away.

I am the proprietor of Envoy’s “Rocking the Cradle Catholic” department, which means I can type 600 or so words fairly quickly (probably no small part of the reason for Patrick’s invitation).

None of that is the wonderful stuff mentioned above. Let’s get to that now.

This blogging thing is hard work, so I’m very thankful to Father Riley (a new young priest at our parish) for his homily yesterday.

It was a particularly great Mass all around. My wife and I were the lectors, something we love doing together. Mary Ann got to read from the Book of Wisdom, which addressed a subject she is currently reading about in her Master’s program. I had the pleasure of reading from The Letter of St. James (my affection for which I mentioned in a previous post). Father Riley then proclaimed Mark’s gospel account of the Apostle’s argument over who was the greatest.

Father followed up with a wonderful homily that weaved the messages of all three readings into a clear and concise observation on the individual’s duty to serve. But that’s not the best part. After stepping away from the ambo, he turned back to address a different subject.

He then proceeded to talk about the sinfulness of leaving Mass early, directing his remarks to all but specifically mentioning parents and grandparents; he reminded them that leaving early is a sin and that by bringing children out of Mass early with them, they are leading those beloved children into sin as well. He went on to suggest that if we cannot spare an extra ten minutes after Communion, our priorities may be highly disordered.

It sounds simple, but I know it took incredible courage…especially since he was speaking during the noon Mass on the day of our local NFL home opener. We made sure to speak with Father afterward and give him an atta-boy, along with our thanks for making such an important point.

And this–after all that–is the basic point I’d like to make today: it’s important for all of us to notice and acknowledge even the seemingly small acts of herosim on the part of our priests.

They have already, in a very real way, given their lives for us. The least we can do is say thanks.

I’m sure I’ve failed to notice hundreds of such acts over the years. My prayer for all of us today is that we will be better attuned to the words and deeds of our priests, and take a few extra minutes to say thanks for caring.

One Comment

  1. Mary Rose

    Jim,First, great post! You've done the Patrick Madrid Blog proud!I'm a "Cradle Catholic" who returned to the Church last year after being away 25 years. (I was involved with mostly non-denominational churches during those years.) Since returning, I have had a profound re-examination of my faith, Catholic doctrine, and especially the Holy Eucharist. When I was a young girl attending Mass, I looked upon Communion as a symbolic event. Now that I've returned, I'm afraid this is the belief of many others attending Mass; in which case leaving right after receiving Communion isn't a big deal to them. But since I've been blessed to understand that yes – the Holy Eucharist is indeed the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, there has been a huge difference.How could we not want to spend at least a few minutes meditating upon His goodness, holiness, and mercy as we kneel after receiving Him? We are, in that moment, "in communion" with Him. It is a profound moment and nothing in this world can even come close to competing with it.But, people usually don't think about such things. We live in a crazybusy culture and so often, people react to the "what's next on my schedule" more than anything. I so agree with your priest and wow, what boldness! I wish I could congratulate him, myself. More priests need to make it clear that the Mass isn't ended, until the priest ends it! And there is meaning to every second of the liturgy. 🙂

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