Reflections on a blessed Epiphanytide…..

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Man am I ever behind…….Last time I posted was on Twelfth Night…..and now we stand a week away from Lent……..where did those six weeks go??? 😛

Although I have still been praying the Daily Office with some regularity, the month of January was both eventful and Grace-filled. While I wanted to post here, I often found myself with little or no spiritual energy left to come up with something creative to say.

For that I want to apologize 😦

Now I’m back 🙂 and I feel compelled to share some thought and reflection about what has been going on in my life…..

The biggest event in the last month without any doubt was my ordination to the order of Deacon:

The experience was at once joyful and sobering. On one hand, it was the realization of a life-long dream. On the other, I was faced with an unpleasant thought: Crap! I have to be an adult now :P.

While I know my status has changed, it feels very weird when people call me Reverend or Father, or Padre. I suspect that this shock will wear off eventually….It’s amazing what can happen if I throw on that black shirt and collar :P.

I am still me….but now I’m me with responsibility attached. I represent something that’s bigger than myself..which is something I try to do anyway…but now I find myself more conscious of it.

More than that though, I am struck by the fact that it finally happened….after hard work, some luck and amazing people around me.

Those people also include those who read and contribute to this blog. By your presence, I made it through a very dark time in discerning my vocation. Your honest and open sharing of your thoughts and challenges to my own have pushed me to be a better writer, theologian…but most important, a better person. If I don’t say it often enough…… thank you! ❤

All in all…..I am left with this thought…which I hope will inspire you to pursue your own passions.

Dreams are real. Even amidst the crap, they can come true. We are never alone or without support. And God is amazing! +

Evening Prayer: July 15th

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Psalm: 35
Gospel: Mark 3:7-19
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from a treatise on the Mysteries by St. Ambrose

Random fun fact: When I was in seminary, we often would joke around about being posted to “St. Swithin’s by the Swamp” for first ministry assignments (to refer to parishes out in the boonies)…..At first I thought it was just a euphemism my profs. and colleagues used…..turns out he’s an actual saint who is venerated in England….Today (July 15th) is his feast day. 🙂

Light is preferable to its shadow, reality to its symbol, the body of the Giver to the manna he gave from heaven.

At the risk of getting a little too po-mo in my reflection……I kinda like what Ambrose says here.

In the Christian conception, the Sacraments are what allow us to see God as He truly is…a person who gives us life and fulfillment for the body, the mind and the soul.

Our God is not one who hides behind the veil of heaven…..but discarded the veil and came down to meet us face to face. One of the unspoken extensions of this is that the Sacraments change us too.

By placing our faith in a God who reveals himself fully, we are also making a choice to show our full selves to the world….to be a reflection of the one who created us and reshaped us in baptism. St. Ambrose’s call to recognize the bread and wine as Body and Blood also act as a subtle reminder that our lives are to be sacraments…our actions are to be outward and visible signs of the inward and invisible Grace we have received.

We don’t have the time or energy to waste in presenting false personas to the world……After all….what does that accomplish…..except to hide behind the comfortable veil of sin and self-will once more????

The key–I think–is to remember that we have been adopted as children of the Most High. Once we claim that identity for our own…..the true Light which dispels all darkness becomes a part of us……so that when we encounter one another 1:1, the other person sees not only our personalities…..but the love of Jesus radiating through us……as we are truly meant to shine in this world. ❤ +

Evening Prayer: Feb. 12th (combo post)

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Psalms: 87, 90, 136
Old Testament: Isaiah 61:10-62:5
New Testament: 2 Timothy 4:1-8
Gospel: Mark 10:46-52
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from St. Issac the Abbot

For nothing can be considered wrong that is truly directed towards and according to that [the love of God].

When I read this…….I was a little perplexed. Just because our actions are directed in love doesn’t mean that things can’t go wrong. I think most of us can attest to that in our own lives. So what is St. Issac after???

I think part of it can be connected to what I was saying a few days ago about action vs. intention and is also echoed in the words of Isaiah:

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
my whole being shall exult in my God;
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10)

God’s love is not only right….but it is also beautiful :). When we strive to follow God in our everyday lives some of that beauty is imparted and reflected in, through, and for us.

Scripture’s call is not only to follow…but also to be transformed. Let us follow the love of God wherever it may lead.+

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