From moment to moment I remember with astonishment that I am at the same time empty and full, and satisfied because I am empty. I lack nothing. The Lord rules me.
Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, p. 43.
Last night I had a Waking Ned Devine moment - As Jackie says in that great film, "The words that are spoken at a funeral are spoken too late for the man who is dead. What a wonderful thing it would be to visit your own funeral. To sit at the front and hear what was said, maybe say a few things yourself." It was quite an experience all around, as my dearest friends and fellow workers were all 'appreciated' for their ministry. Lots of funny moments, kind words heaped upon kind words, feasting in such good company. One by one each was recognized and stories told of Gods work accomplished through them. I knew the good of each testimony, and the gratitude for such companions on the way was deeply felt and humbling. Even so, I sat a bit pensive when my name was called. After a few introductory remarks the speaker began naming some of the areas of ministry I serve, and asking those whose lives had been touched by each to please stand. Slowly around me grew a living forest, mature and mighty, firmly planted and glorious to behold. There I sat, small in their presence rising over me, a canopy of grace covering me - beautiful humanity - work of His hands.
As Msgr. leaned over the table laughing, and said to me "And you're not even dead yet!"