God is found in everyday life - Catholic Courier
Matthew H. Clark Matthew H. Clark

God is found in everyday life

Last week I wrote about three ways by which we might open our hearts to the gift of renewed life at Easter. I mentioned the possibility of reviewing old habits to see if they still serve, asking for the grace to see more clearly God’s presence in the routine of daily life and being mindful of the Sabbath dimension of life — Sunday Eucharist, prayer, activities and relationships that nourish us.

Through the past week, I have joined you in that peaceful effort to find ways to connect day by day with our ever-present, ever-loving God. I wish I could report spectacular results, but I cannot. The days have been fairly routine. That’s not to say there haven’t been some graced moments, times when the Lord seemed especially close.

For me those moments of special favor have occurred within the normal, ordinary flow of life. A few examples:

1) Playing baseball with my sister and my grandnephew Patrick Esposito. Patrick just turned 5, is jam-packed with energy and loves sports. Helen was pitcher, I was catcher and Patrick whacked sharp line drives to the far reaches of the Earlys’ back yard.

There was great pleasure in sharing this beautiful child’s delight. There was also joy in the presence of my sister, and memories of our own childhood. I remembered clearly the great happiness the same activity brought me when I was Patrick’s age.

During the experience, I prayed for Patrick’s health and well-being all the days of his life. During the prayer came the renewed realization that God has always been and continues to be faithful to and very patient with me.
2) I had a conversation with David Clement. David and I grew up together in Waterford. We both graduated from high school in 1955, although we never attended the same school.

David was ordained a White Father in 1964 and served for several years in what was then the Belgian Congo. After some years in the missions, he returned home to work in the headquarters of his congregation. Eventually, Dave left active ministry, married in the church and worked for many years for the Paulist Fathers.

Now David is in hospice, awaiting his entry into fullness of life. His voice is weak. His breath is short. But his spirit is sharp. Those who love him would do anything to spare him from his suffering. Yet, we are all aware that there is enormous strength at his core. And we are all touched by the witness of faith he gives to God’s presence even in this moment of mortal weakness.
3) I first met Father Larry Murphy in 1957, when we were students together at St. Bernard’s Seminary. Larry was ordained with the class of 1958, so we were together on Lake Avenue for only one year. I remembered him fondly from those days. We shared an interest in sports, and I just liked the way he handled himself.

We met again when I returned to Rochester in 1979. It has always been a pleasure to minister with Larry. It has been a special blessing to live with him at Sacred Heart for the past three years following his retirement from the pastorate of Holy Rosary.

Larry’s very witty. He’s the only person I have ever met who can consistently stay a step ahead of Father John Mulligan, pastor of Sacred Heart, and he’s a marvelous servant of the Lord. He walks Pac-Tac to bolster the peace and safety of the neighborhood. Patients in hospice weekly experience his gentle concern. Show him a dirty dish and he washes it. Mention that you need help or someone could use a visit, and he is there. It’s all quiet, sometimes hidden. But I find all of it encouraging because Larry’s a wonderful example that one’s sense of being-for-others can remain a constant, even though one experiences a notable change in life’s circumstances.

I hope that this young Easter season has been one of encouragement and renewal for you and for those whom you love. And I hope you have a chance to tell others of the blessings that have come your way. It will do you good to tell about them, and it will be most encouraging to those with whom you share the good news.

Peace to all.

Tags: Bishop Matthew H. Clark
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