Got a chance to be on TV...

Got a chance to be on local TV this morning with John Krol:  Goodmorning Pittsfield. (Interested in the clip?  Check it out - on the sidebar - under Goodmorning Pittsfield @  It was fun because we got to talk about caring for the common good as part of ministry.  It is not just about administering the sacraments - or preaching and teaching - but being engaged and helping others be engaged in healing the wounds of our community.

As I was watching this later, I thought of something Cardinal Leo Joseph Suenens of Brussels once whispered in the ears of "new priests at their ordination ceremony:  remember, God has called you to the priesthood because he does not trust you to be a layman (sic.)"  As M. Craig Barnes goes on to say, "Pastors are called to embody gravitas... wounds that have healed well, failures that have been redeemed, sins that have been forgiven and thorns that have settled into the flesh... and odd as it may sound, it's the scars on the pastor's soul that makes it attractive." (The Pastor as Minor Poet, p. 49)
Over 30 years there have been a LOT of wounds and scars - many have healed - and been explored and given to the Lord.  I think I will be reflecting on gravitas for the next few days.  The poet, Robert Bly, gives the quest for healing and gravitas this beautiful spin in something he calls "Time Runs Backward after Death."

Samson, grinding bread for the widows and orphans,
Forgets he is wronged, and the answers
The Philistines wrangled out of him go back
Into the lion. The bitter and the sweet marry.
He himself wronged the lion. Now the wheat
Caresses the wind with its wifely tail; the donkey
Runs in the long grass; and having glimpsed heaven,
The fox's body saunters the tawny earth.

After death the soul returns to drinking milk
And honey in its sparse home. Broken lintels
Rejoin the sunrise gates, and bees sing
In the sour meat.  Once more in the cradle his
Hair grows long and golden; Delilah's scissors
Turn back into two tiny and playful swords.
Samson, no longer haunted by sunset and shadows,
Sinks down in the eastern ocean and is born.


Philomena Ewing said…
Congratulations RJ!! :-)))

I couldn't get the link to work but it may be something to do with the UK.
RJ said…
Thanks, my friend. The link mostly works here... sorry if it doesn't translate in the UK.

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