After a long hiatus without writing, I am coming back with the strength of the Holy Spirit to hit the keys of my computer again. I left like 3 articles half of the way written. I did not publish those articles not only because the were incomplete but because I was in front of my computer for hours incapable of writing about myriad of experiences during this pandemic. My mind was blocked for a while. Unfinished blogs mean also unfinished prayers. I have been struggling finishing my prayers and my spiritual readings as well. I have had obstacles on my way that are preventing me to communicate with my flock. After much prayer, I found out that many thoughts invaded my mind and my heart. I needed to do something.
After running LA marathon last spring, I wanted to do something else to keep myself physically healthy in the midst of this pandemic. I started to hike and bike almost every week. During my exercise, I was able to connect with nature. At the beginning, while walking, I was praying and I ended up praying while walking. Obstacles with the wildfires prevented me from going for a hike for a while, so I started biking more. Often times, I visit the sick or go to the post office riding my bike. May be you have seen me riding my bike around our church. Not too long ago one parishioner told me “Father, please wear your helmet”; a few weeks later, I received a helmet as a gift. To be honest, sometimes I forgot to wear it.
Indeed, obstacles make me stronger. I like the following quote by an anonymous thinker: “An obstacle is often a stepping stone”. Something could be a climbing stone. All depends how big the stone is. I had to climb a humongous stone of disordered thoughts just to write a few paragraphs today. I can do it with the help of the Lord only. That was a promise I made the day of my ordination.
|Bishop: My son, before you proceed to the order of the presbyterate, declare before the people your intention to undertake this priestly office. Are you resolved with the help of the Holy Spirit, to discharge without fail, the office of the priesthood in the presbyteral order as a conscientious fellow worker with the bishops in caring for the Lord’s flock?|
Candidate: I am.
Bishop: Are you resolved to celebrate the mysteries of Christ faithfully and religiously as the Church has handed them down to us, for the glory of God and the sanctification of Christ’s people?
Candidate: I am.
Bishop: Are you resolved to exercise the ministry of the word worthily and wisely, preaching the Gospel and explaining the Catholic faith?
Candidate: I am.
Bishop: Are you resolved to consecrate your life to God for the salvation of his people, and to unite yourself more closely every day to Christ the High Priest, who offered himself for us to the Father as a perfect sacrifice?
Candidate: I am, with the help of God.
My life has been full of obstacles. Along my seminary formation I had plenty of excuses to give up. By the grace of the Lord, I was ordained three years ago. When I came to this country, jut learning English was a big obstacle. I felt that the language barrier was like a wild horse that I had to ride. Sometimes I feel that I am taming this wild horse which is mastering a language.
Right now I am experiencing a daily obstacle: lack of time to continue writing… I have to do something else… I just give thanks to the Lord because he helped me to write this words for you my beloved. Keep praying for me so I can step on the obstacles that life presents. I hope to come back with you through this space sooner than later. Thanks for your prayers.
And it will be said,
“Build up, build up, prepare the way,
Remove every obstacle out of the way of My people.” Is. 57, 14