I knew there was a reason why I searched for one of my favorite German hymns this morning: Lasst uns Gott dem Herrn Lobsingen...... I got to Church this morning and the entrance song was "Gather us in".... I managed to regain my composure....and recollection.We had a substitute priest today who was very interesting. He was 60ish and said he had gone to high school seminary and lost his faith (!)...He said he didn't even know whether God existed anymore. He (providentially I feel confident in saying) went to volunteer some years at the Los Angeles Catholic Worker house on skid row in downtown LA (it's like the third world literally). His job was to go to the fruit & vegetable market to sift through what couldn't be sold (but was edible). He said often even after HOURS of sifting he would come up with very little...... He said a little prayer every time he went: GOD if you exist you feed your poor. He said that a miracle happened. Every time he said this prayer, he would find more and more things to feed the poor. Another practice he had never given up was one an old priest had told him years before, "spend 5 minutes reading the New Testament and it will change your life"... He never gave that practice up. He said the practice began to bear fruit with time. He came back to a very strong faith in Christ and decided he was called to be a priest went to seminary and was ordained 20 years ago!
That is a beautiful story - reminds me of Way of a Pilgrim. Visitor priests are a gift some Sundays.
Yes, he was a gift to me today. I am grateful for his presence. I love Way of a Pilgrim. I always wished that there were more "Starets" running around for counsel. I don't think I've ever met one. People talk so much about finding a "good spiritual director" as though it's like going to the supermarket. I don't think I've ever really had a real one. No one ever had time.
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