Beloved Brothers and Sisters,
I would like to thank you abundantly for the love and care that you have shown me over this past year and for your Prayers and generosity. It has been such a blessing to be a part of the St. Francis community and be an instrument to bring God’s grace in your life through the Sacraments and our various interactions. The Bishop has made some changes in the Diocese and I will be moving to a different parish to serve God’s people elsewhere. Please continue to keep me in your Prayers, and know that you will remain in mine. I leave you with a final encouragement to stay close in Prayer to the Lord who is our sole Shepherd and Who guides us in this life to eternal life.
The foundation of Prayer – of relationship with God – is humility. In humility, we accept what God gives or does not give because He knows what is best for each one of us individually. Humility is a form of abandonment to God in Trust. Without humility in our relationship with God – recognizing that God is God and we are not, we can fall into the temptation of grasping at something (whether grace, or a gift or favor from God, or something we desire in our life or for others) that may not be what is best for us. Without humility before God, we can become like the little child at Christmas who has begged his parents for this one gift he really wants, and then throws a tantrum because the parents had something better in mind for him. The child isn’t able to receive the gift the parents have for him because he so stubbornly wants this other thing. If we lack humility in Prayer, not accepting the graces and gifts God gives as He wants and when He wants, then we are like this little child who is unable to receive the beautiful things God wants to give us. When God acts, He always does something beautiful and glorious, and the humble person trusts in God to give him/her whatever he/she needs, and so is content to be with the Lord and love the Lord in Prayer whether he/she is receiving spiritual consolations or not. The reason we Pray is not because we desire to feel good or feel God’s Presence or have a good time. The reason we Pray is to spend time with the one we love as He desires us to, and to be transformed by His love for us so that we may be more fitting servants of the Lord and so receive the greatest gift He has for us: Himself for all eternity.
God Be with you!