Sunday, February 6, 2011

Light and getting out of Dodge

My son and I loaded the pickup truck with our overnight gear and headed out.
Out of the diocese that is.
It felt good to get away from this week--to get out of Dodge.

A few hours later and we were at Uncle Len's.
After a quick rest stop at his house we headed to church for Mass.
There we sat in the front pew and listened to the priest who happened to be....Uncle Len.

He preached about people who were the Light of Christ in his life and why they were the Light of Christ.

I glanced at the credance table and saw the familiar chalice--the silver one with the Apostles and the deep red background.  I remembered years ago of concelebrating Holy Eucharist with that same chalice.

Uncle Len was my first pastor.  He had me when I was a snot nosed pushy kid out of seminary.
Come to think of it--he's a rare breed.  He is what guys referred to as 'lifers'--the ones who entered priestly formation as a freshman in high school.  I'm not sure if there is such a program anymore, anywhere.
Yeh.  Len put up with a lot from me.

He was the last priest that I actually prayed in community with--as a priest. 
I wonder how many priests living in rectorys pray together.  (Then again, I wonder how many priests are praying.)

Uncle Len has been a light in my life.
I am not sure you are aware but there exist unwrittend codes in the clergy world.  One of those codes is you don't check on a guy when he leaves.  You drop him.
Len didn't.  In fact the reason he's called 'uncle' is because my son has known him his whole life.
Len was the one who provided a church for my son's baptism.  He was the one who would travel and visit.  And he was the one who sat quietly in the waiting room at the hospital with me, awaiting word on my wife's surgery.
...the Light of Christ.