10....9....8....7....6....5....4....3....2...


I apologize for being a little distant from the keyboard for a while lately -- but between three funerals this past week, three the week before, a wedding in Minneapolis last weekend and a 30th wedding anniversary near Superior the week before -- all co-mingled with the start of the NFL Season, it has been quite a flurry of activities in a relatively short period of time. Nevertheless, the time has been blessed by meeting so many wonderful people.

The wedding and anniversary on the road offered a great time to re-connect with very special people such as the Ryan and McKillip families; and the Schommer and Dean families at the wedding last weekend. But life at 1265 Lombardi Avenue and 100 Grant Street has allowed me to meet a whole new batch of great people.

While meeting new Packers and new students, I have been reminded once again how beautiful a life of ministry can be. God opens all sorts of doors to all sorts of great people. And even tonight..... While leaving the priory for a quick errand, I saw a young man having a pretty serious looking discussion on the priory river bank with a couple who I assumed were his parents. I did not want to disturb their meeting, but I simply said a quick prayer while climbing into the car with the hope that all would be well for our students as well as their parents. Transition is not always easy!

This week I noticed that some of my inmates were absent from the Thursday 9:30 AM Mass -- a couple were shipped out to medium security. One gentleman -- one of our lectors -- returned from super-max. I pray for them amidst their transition. On Thursday afternoon I also met a totally impressive Packer from Chippewa Falls -- one of our own! He would be cut on Friday morning. And then there were a great number of students stopping into the office this week -- some for the first time, some for a thousandth time, it sometimes seems!

I think every one of these fine folks have so much to offer, yet in the midst of transition from one place to another, they may be in need of our prayers just a bit more these August days. May I offer mine here?

I wish I could say that these are my words -- they are so moving. But I must give credit where credit is due. I heard this quip from Coach Carter (the movie) as well as another movie, Akeela and the Bee. Both in the midst of intense scenes, they heard the wisdom that came from Marianne Williamson who wrote in her book, "Return to Love":

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,
but that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.

We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.
And, as we let our own light shine,
we consciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.


So in the midst of so many people on the move these days -- some perhaps not living on their home turf or wondering what happens next, let's pray that they can find their own inner strength these days, by allowing the Light of Christ that is within them to shine forth -- continually liberating themselves -- and others -- from fear. And in the newness of these days and environments, let us not forget that, "God's flock is in your midst; give it a shepherd's care!"


Father James Baraniak, O. Praem.





3 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Katie Culotta said...

Fr. Jim--I think you can go into the settings and force people to register in order to leave comments on your blog or only allow certain members to leave comments. I just read what you said about the anonymous posts :-) Good luck--I love your blog. I have become a blogging addict and read a bunch different blogs every day!

Anonymous said...

That quote is from Nelson Mandela

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