a priest's musings on the journey

Sunday, May 04, 2008

An Evening With His Lord, Archbishop Robin Eames

I am at Shrinemont, in the Diocese of Virginia, for a Spring clergy and parish lay professionals retreat. The speaker for our retreat in Archbishop Robin Eames, who will be speaking on reconciliation. Tonight's remarks were brilliant- but of course the would be from the man who played such a role in the current peace in Ireland. I only wish I had taken my laptop so that I could have taken notes. Here are a few of the points that stuck in my memory.

He opened with a story that occurred in Ireland while he was having dinner in one of the rectories in the diocese (perhpas you've heard this story- but it's wonderful to read again). While they were eating dinner, there was a loud thump and the lights began to shake. The priest excused himself to go upstairs to his son's room to investigate the source of this commotion. He asked his seven year old what had happened... There was a moment of silence, followed by the (suprise) "I don't know what happened Daddy." The father continued to press for answers, and finally the child replied, "Daddy, I think I fell out of the bed." "O, that's what I thought, but how did you fall out of the bed? Did roll out"
"No, Daddy."
"Did you get tangled in your clothes Daddy?"
"No, Daddy."

He continued his query, but the child did not know how he fell out of the bed. Finally, the father gave up, kissed his son and left. As he exited the room the son called out, "Daddy, I think I know how I fell out of the bed; I fell out because I was too close to the place where I got in."

I fell out because I was too close to the place where I got in.
Great wisdom from a seven year old (which by the way is where I generally learn all of my greatest spiritual lessons.) His Grace went on to challenge to go deeper into our callings, so that when times of difficulty come, we will be immersed enough into the love and life of God, that we will know how to meet the crisis with compassion, grace, and wisdom. The danger of not deepening in our faith and going deeper in our calling, is that when those hard times come, we will fall out of our faith because we are too near to the place where we got in.

Good stuff. I intend om stealing it for a future sermon.

It was very moving, and edifying to hear his story of his work for peace in Ireland. He said that when one has seen Jesus bleeding in Ireland for forty years, it puts petty issues and disagreements in perspective. Why is so much energy wasted on little disagreements, when we need to love the bleeding and dying Jesus all around us.

At 10:20 PM much has already escaped my memory- I'll have to try to take notes tommorrow- What I will never forget is his peaceful, gentle spirit. Once can feel that he is a peacemaker and a man committed to reconciliation. I am grateful for his work in the Church.

Prayer for Peace
Loving Father,
Your will is that we should all be of one mind in this land;
God of Peace, bless Ireland and bless those countries where there is civil strife,
Where neighbour rises up against neighbour,
Where familiar streets become battlefields
And familiar people the casualities.

Change the hearts of all
Who think that their cause is more important than another person's life;
Change the politics of those on either side which create, condone or extend the conflict;
And by the power of the cross
Help all who have been sinned against to forgive
That peace may come
Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.

Amen. Prayer for Peace said daily by former Taoiseach, Albert Reynolds as printed in Fr. Brian's Page, Sunday World.

:: posted by Padre Rob+, 8:19 PM


That's beautiful, Robbie. :)
Blogger Luiz Coelho, at 9:10 PM  
I pray much has changed. Your post makes me think so. It was not always thus: And his office and I came to virtual blows back in the days of Ecunet...

+RE was not that much a man of peace when the American church was taking positions he didn't like - He was that way when he came to America in 1991 (or 2?) sat our Peace and Justice officer down and, basically, gave him a grilling over supporting the MacBride Principles.

Your post gives me much hope.
Blogger Huw, at 5:55 AM  
Thanks for sharing these thoughts Rob. Robin Eames is a great man.
Blogger John the organist, at 5:13 PM  

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