I am writing this on a Saturday morning. I stayed up a little too late last night, but that’s okay, because it’s my one morning a week I can sleep in a little.
So you can imagine that I wasn’t excited to get woken up by a text. I leaned over to read it with sleepy eyes, and a groggy mind. A protestant gentleman I met after Mass one day was texting me to see if we could meet, he wanted to talk about Mary and invited me to coffee.
Ugh I thought. Seriously? I haven’t really woken up, I haven’t showered, I haven’t even said my prayers. I’m just tired, it’s been a super busy week, and I just want some time to myself. My bed is really nice, and this is only my day off! I decided to go back to bed, and ignore it until I woke up.
I couldn’t do it. What if God needs me to meet this man, what if his soul is at stake and this is the moment he needs? I have a real love/hate relationship with my responsibilities to the Lord sometimes. So I responded, “I’d love to meet!” while brushing my teeth, hoping my text sounded positive instead of the tired frustration I felt. I’m letting him know I can be there in 10 minutes while I’m still standing naked in my bathroom splashing water in my face.
My wife Kim mumbles something about coming back to bed from the warmth of our covers as I’m crawling into my trousers, and I’m out the door in less than five minutes. We talked for over two and a half hours, he had a lot of questions. I had a wonderful time, and it was great to get to know this man, and to share faith with him was a blessed event as it always is. I am always thankful to be able to serve the Lord in this way.
By the time I got home, it was nearly noon, and I still hadn’t said my office, so I got right to it, and an hour later as I was just finishing up, my family went off to their plans for the day. I missed my morning with them, and now I am writing for a few minutes before I need to head off to my evening Mass. I don’t think I’ll really get to see them much today now. They aren’t mad or anything, this is just how it is, and they understand. It is just is sad sometimes.
I’m not explaining this to get sympathy, I chose this life and am glad to serve every chance I get. I don’t need suggestions on when to say no, I don’t say no, and I’m not going to start. The Gospel is the only thing that matters in life, and I will get up early and stay up late for any chance to preach it. If I get a call, an email or a text, I am going to respond if I can. I just want to draw you a picture to lay out an example of what it is like to be a married cleric. My calendar is nowhere near as full as a priest, I have little doubt they must never stop moving.
All I ask is that you are patient with us, and please, keep us in your prayers.