There is something magical and compelling about a doorway, about a crossroads. It is a time and place in between the old and the new, between past and future; the liminal space where for a moment time stands still and new possibilities, undreamt of mere moments before, now come sharply into focus.
Thus says the LORD:
“Stand by the roads, and look,
and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is;
and walk in it,
and find rest for your souls.”
This past month or so has seen many doors close, many possible paths end in brambles.
I had a great conversation with my friend Fr. Bryan Dolejsi about the diaconate. He made it very clear to me that the archdiocesan vocation efforts for the foreseeable future will be for priests, rather than deacons. So although I still feel the Lord’s call to service stronger than ever, this particular door is closed for at least five years. Maybe longer. Maybe forever.
After many years, I finally completed the Archdiocese’s foundational program for liturgy. It was a moment of great joy for me, as the beauty and spirit of the liturgy was my original gateway to the Church. It remains the calm centre of my life, where I can rest in the Lord in tranquility.
I was looking forward to the certification classes for Master of Ceremonies with barely disguised exuberance.
Unfortunately, yesterday another door closed. I will no longer be involved in any liturgical ministry in my parish. The reasons behind this are both complex and probably of little interest. Let us simply say that it was not voluntary on my part, and it apparently has nothing to do with my actual abilities, attitude, or performance.
In fact, it actually has very little to do with me at all.
God is most present to me in the liturgy, and I feel called to serve Him there. However, it has been made it clear to me that this cannot happen in my parish. Another door shuts.
I barely slept at all last night, for all I could see were the doors closing, one by one.
This afternoon, I remembered the words of Blessed John Henry Newman:
God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission—I never may know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next.
I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good, I shall do His work; I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it, if I do but keep His commandments and serve Him in my calling.
Therefore I will trust Him.
Last night, I could only see the doors closing, one by one. Today, I see that we stand in the liminal space. Suddenly, all my ties to this parish are cut. This parish, which I love even with the constant heartache we’ve endured for the past year, has cut all the ties that bind us to it.
It could not be done more neatly nor more surgically.
There are so many good people at our parish, people I love, people who have been generous and kind to us. These people, I will miss. But God has given us a gift, the gift of suddenly having no responsibilities or obligations to this parish, and when the Lord gives you gift, you must take it in thanksgiving. You must take the path He offers.
I no longer know where the Lord is calling me, or to what. I only know that I hear His voice calling me to follow Him, and follow I will, wherever He leads.
Please continue to pray for us as we take this new path in our earthly pilgrimage.