Friday, November 30, 2012

A curious condemnation

I remember once listening to a person of my acquaintance rant about the rector of their parish.

'He does nothing,' they seethed. 'Look at the way he spends his mornings! After his breakfast he reads the paper and then he goes over to the church and says Morning Prayer – half the time by himself! He'd be better off going out into the parish and getting things done!'

A curious condemnation, one might think. Another view of his actions might be this: he took his meal, as all are entitled to, indeed a wise move when so many skip what is the most important meal of the day, particularly clergy who are notoriously bad at self-care; then he took the trouble to inform himself about what was going on in the world; & having done that he took himself to the house of God to pray for the world* with whatever few might join him in prayer ... and if none did, he worshiped alone, the doors of the church open, inviting the world to join him in giving praise to the one who made us all.

Today is the Feast of St Andrew. This morning, I had my breakfast  an oatmeal smoothie, in front of my computer, reading various news articles on-line & checking a few emails. When the school runs were over, I made my way to the nearest of the parish churches where I was joined for Holy Communion by a single soul, my stole red to remind us of his martyrdom  The Gospel spoke of how Andrew had brought his brother Simon to know Jesus. We prayed for our community and for the courage to follow the example of St Andrew. Quietly & intimately we received from the Lord's table. After, the one person who had made up my congregation spoke to me about some of the difficulties in their life & we prayed about those also.

Afterwards, I thought about that rector and the person who thought his mornings were such a waste of time. I wonder would they think my St Andrew's day morning was also a waste of time? Somehow, I do not think it was. 

*this is not my being imaginative; not long ago had occasion to hear this particular rector lead intercessions at a clergy gathering: he prayed thoughtfully & extemporaneousnessly about a variety of the ills which plague the world today.


  1. <3

    Thought-provoking and necessary. I hope whomever it was that you heard complaining either stumbles across this post or is touched by the Spirit to clear the cobwebs.

    May we all be so lucky to have such priests in our lives. Bless you, Father (and bless that single soul who kept you, the angels, the saints, and Our Lord company at His table).


  2. Thanks Gina,
    I doubt the person will see this ... it was one of those 'a long time ago' moments & I have no idea where there are now (although, I suppose they are probably still living in that parish). Even if they did, they probably wouldn't remember it ... most people I think have forgotten 90% of what they say to others within minutes, esp. the ones who talk a lot! So we'll go with a smack up along the back of the head from the Holy Spirit as being the most likely (& best) option.