November 18, 2009

Radio Priest

Turned on the local Catlick station and heard the voice of our beloved former pastor, now gone into retirement for about half a year: "There are things coming!" I hear him say:
"We may not be called to be great preachers but we are called to witness to our conviction that life is greater than the present moment..that life has a destiny...that it is headed somewhere...that there is something about life that compensates for the sorrows and illnesses that we have including the burdens of old age...there is a greater context for all of that. It's not just the present moment. The trials of our lives are our apocalyptic moments."

"If religion is a tool of life rather than a pilgrimage, a journey, then we isolate our life of faith. It becomes just one more tool among the tools in our toolbox.I f I'm sorrowful or I need a favor I go to church and pray... Religion then does not capture my soul. It is not a revelation, it is not apocalyptic. A classic case is in the great movie 'The Godfather'. Is there any relationship between faith and life in it?"

"Apocalyptic means there is something far beyond the present moment. It's a symbolic language..it's what really good poetry is supposed to be: to express the inexpressible. In apocalyptic literature our sense of the reality that is around us is stretched. Greater, deeper, vaster reality...how can we handle the present moment if we don't believe in this greater reality which we can scarcely comprehend? We can't comprehend what lies ahead but we seek to encase that which we cannot comprehend in good liturgical music, monuments, grave stones, burial rituals - all of that is supposed to remind us of the future. But funerals have changed in recent decades to look at the past or the present. Our culture tells us that whatever is happening right now is the only moment that matters or exists.

"Apocalyptic literature jars us out of the present moment. We are in the midst of a world that is beyond us. Ask God to expand your horizons and open your eyes to that which is beyond you, in creativity, trust, and faith."

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