Monday, June 6, 2011


With God All Things are Possible

Today something astonishing happened. A friend called me to say that a priest who had preached and believed ideologies contrary to church truth and teaching had a change of heart after a 3 month retreat. This priest had apologized to a parishioner for preaching contrary to church teaching and was now convicted of the truth.

This was a priest whom I had challenged with love back in October of 2010 and then again in January and late February of this year. I did this after I heard his homily in late September of 2010.

The decision to talk with him and then challenge him came after I confirmed his belief was indeed against church teaching. In a sense it was understandable because he has a brother who struggles with his sexuality. What started out as initially only a little uncomfortable became increasingly so as I realized was going against the tide even in my faith community.

I noticed how others were upset at the time but were paralyzed by anger that yielded to fear. I also noticed that others had just left that particular parish and deemed it hopeless to do anything against the heretical subculture. The odds were small for change everyone said. It's hopeless. That from some members in a faith community!

Yet too I noticed how others had decided to pray for the situation. Some spoke up with kindness and some in anger. As I acted in other ways in the months that followed, in ways the the Lord led me to, the needed space then happened. I was led to Florida. In that space, the seeds for change had been planted and were growing unbeknown to me. Prayers were sown and a heart was opened. I am still amazed at God's grace and love!

This news came at the heals of one of my most challenging periods. My surrender to God was constantly being challenged by my need to be in control. All my daily routines and practices were disjointed as I toiled to get ready for an exciting and yet scary move. My formal focus on God was even challenged, and I had days where I had to muscle out the prayers. Acting has always come easier for me than praying, and that sweet balance only comes through surrender.

This little miracle of a courageous priest who sought out God and embraced change was exactly what I needed to hear. This Friday I get ready to embark on the most potentially fulfilling and challenging call yet for me to surrender, ironically in "acting." Knowing that without God this would have been impossible for me. Fear had paralyzed this call many times before but, perhaps it was not the right time. And now I jump into His arms knowing that with God all things are possible.