Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I'm a priest - why all this web activity? Who's going to read or listen to it?

Yes indeed, that is an interesting question. Why should a priest, who has so many things to do and people to see, bother with a blog like this or a web site or an additional blog en français? This question was put to me by a dear friend today, and I'm so grateful that he did, because it sent me into the depths, where the meaning and purpose of our lives is to be found.

As Dr. Jeannine Guindon was fond of saying, as an integral part of the formation program she pioneered since the 1950's through the 1970's, it's about the meaning and purpose we choose to give to our lives that makes us the persons we are becoming. As my friend's question burrowed down into my soul, I began to notice again the depths of gratitude that I have been enjoying these past several months.... ever since my sabbatical experience in Chicago, really....

I'm grateful for the great grace and privilege of having been chosen and loved by the Blessed Trinity from infancy... I still remember my Christian Initiation: first Penance, Confirmation, and First Holy Communion.... there was Someone there! Indeed there were Three Someone's there! For decades from youth into adulthood there was painful confusion and inner conflicts, and it wasn't until a good and holy elder priest who loved young people shared with us the great grace of silence, reflection, and prayer, that I had a real opportunity - for the first time in my 27 years of life - to look back on my "sacred history" with God.

Once those flood gates opened, I couldn't get enough of silence and retreats and prayer and then getting to know the three Divine Persons and how They were present and speaking / guiding deep in my mind, heart, and soul.... Then came another great struggle and wonderful call: to follow Jesus and serve Him as a priest.... After 23 years and counting, I am filled with gratitude
to overflowing for the privilege of seeing Jesus speak, heal, enlighten, teach, warn, reproach, caution, instruct, form, lead, and nourish through me, and that is only the beginning of it.... It goes on! It's so clear to me how great God is for bringing about such wonderful blessings and life in others through the poverty and weakness that I am!

There are countless blessings going on all the time in my parents, who despite - no perhaps because of - their growing weakness and increasing illness, are aging and entering into the Fall and Winter seasons of their lives so graciously.... My sister and I are only two, and it has been and continues to be at times such a burden, and yet, we are being changed, purified, stretched and blessed as well as our parents by the opportunity and challenge of attending lovingly to our aging parents....

The transition I have been living from Becket to St. Luke and to the Lakeshore General has been and continues to be quite exciting and exhausting, but I have a deep sense that it is all good and for the glory of God. In fact, that is why I am bothering with this blog and began one in French and finally have succeeded in activating a web site. It is to put on display all the gifts the Lord is pouring out for you his people through me, such as I am. So we are posting the homilies on the website and occasional reflections here.

Beloved sisters and brothers in Christ, and other guests, feel free to share this site with your friends and family, with fellow students and work colleagues. Our Creator and God is doing a wonderful thing in people in our time, despite the dreariness and violence that the media are constantly feeding us in the form of a daily dose of poison. It's about time we give ourselves another diet than this poison. We know there is evil out there, all around us, and yes, even within us, but that is why it is such Good News that God has sent us a Saviour in Jesus Christ!

Jesus is God the Father's antidote to the poison unleashed as a dragon's vomit by the father of lies and chief rebel, the primodial serpent.... Jesus is Lord and has crushed the serpent, overcome the dragon, and robbed him of his treasure hoard. He has made us children of God so that we might enjoy the freedom of his children. Glory be to God our Father in his only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, victorious over sin, suffering, and death, and in the Holy Spirit, Lord and Giver of life! now and always and forever and ever! Amen!

Fr. Gilles