Fr. Kevin’s Column 8/15/2021

Dear Friends in God,

This Sunday, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. God’s gift to Mary of her Assumption, body and soul, into heaven is what we all anticipate at the end of time. For us, we will die at some point, and for a moment, our souls and bodies will be separated. However, in God’s own time our bodies and souls will once again be reunited in the resurrection of the body. Then, all of creation will once again be united as God desires. God came to be one with us to save us in our entirety. Our bodies and souls are meant to be together. Our belief in the afterlife is much more about Life after life rather than an escape plan for another world. The deepest desire of God is to bring his healing love to all of creation. The gift of his son, and the yes of Jesus’ mother and our sister Mary, was the way that God has chosen to save all of us body and soul.

In our lives of faith, we are called to deeper and deeper faith in a God who loves us unconditionally. When our loved ones die, our hearts are broken, but at the same time, we believe that death never has the final word. I know from my own experience that I still grieve the loss of my mom and dad. But at the same time, I am happy that their journey to God has led them into the rest of God. Recently I came across a lovely song written by Camaldolese Benedictine Monk, Fr. CyprianConsiglio OSB, that he wrote for the recent death of his father.  I am sharing the link where it can be found on Youtube. I hope that you can give it a listen and that it speaks to you as it has for me. Listening to it reminded me of the intimacy that God calls us to during our lives and that we fully experience in the deepest way after our own deaths. 

Today I was listening to a podcast about silence and the speaker mentioned that when she first went on a silent retreat, the nun who welcomed her to the retreat center as she led her to the room for the weekend, said to “enjoy God.” That struck me as an important notion to embrace. I don’t think most of his hold onto the idea that we are even able to “enjoy God.” Maybe we fear God, are intimidated by God, do our best to appease God or don’t want to disappoint God. But the truth is that those other notions don’t reflect the healthy relationship that we are created to have with God. We are to be in awe of the way that God loves us, to open ourselves to God’s permanent presence in our lives. We are to see God as a relentless lover and yes we are to even to “enjoy God” as much as he enjoys us. Imagine our time with God as quality time with a lover or a dear friend. We know that feeling when we are with someone who knows us for who we are in our imperfection and yet we are perfect for them. We are all imperfect people and at the same time we are perfect for God. So, please in these lovely days, “enjoy God.”

It is difficult to believe that it is already mid-August. I would encourage all of us to enjoy as much of these summer days as possible. I know, for me, that there is something invigorating about warmer days. My skin shimmers with happiness at the warmth of the sun. As I close this column, I think that it is time for me to take a walk, bask in the sun and “enjoy God.”
Much love,
Fr. Kevin