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You never know when….. August 17, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, Dallas Diocese, Ecumenism, General Catholic, North Deanery, priests.

……something really evocative of the Church might make a big difference in someone’s spiritual life.  Fr. Dwight Longenecker tells a story of a woman’s return to the Church because she realized how much she had been missing when she saw him wearing his biretta:

Dear Father Longenecker, I really have to come and see you. I havent’ been coming to Mass for over a year. My husband tries to go and take the children, but I stopped going to Mass. Then I went last week and your homily and the way you dress with that hat and all, made me realize how much we are grateful for the changes you’ve made in the parish. To tell the truth, my life is messed up. I’ve made some really bad mistakes and I need to talk to you and probably make my confession….

She did come to see me and she did get her life right with God and she did return to Mass and she did resolve to put her marriage right.

You’ve heard of saved by the bell. Maybe this one was saved by the biretta.

People crave authenticity.  They crave the ‘real thing.’  If a priest wears no visible sign of his vocation, I think it has an impact, even subconsciously, on how people view him. If a priest proudly wears clerics, and the more visible and,  yes, even traditional, the better, the more impact it can have: it says to people “Yes, I, Fr. X, really believe in this, and you should/must, too.” 

It can sometimes be seemingly small things that can make a big difference.  Celebrating the Sacraments with great reverence for their power of Grace, wearing clothing appropriate for our state of life or the activity we are engaging in (like assisting at Mass) – all of these convey a message. 

You never know what impact some action on your part, visibly witnessing for the Faith, might make on someone who has been away from the Church. Not that you needed any more pressure!

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