05 July 2008

The Milky Way, Jim, Joe, Gerald, Evangelist and Luke

Things in California are marvelous.  It can best be described as "a school of holiness."  Right now there are four friars stationed permanently here: 2 priests and 2 brothers.  They are incredibly holy men who are joyful in everything that they do.

There is Brother Jim, originally from Ireland who is in his late 80s.  He's been back in California for the last year after spending 19 years in Mexico.  When asked what he was doing in Mexico, he'd simply respond, "doing God's work." When asked when he would come back, he'd say, "when God's work is done." When asked when that would be, he's invariably respond, "when God tells me." 

Brother Joe and I struck up a quick friendship because of our common Polish-ness.  He always has a huge grin on his face and takes special joy in taking care of the black Labrador, Luke, who roams the property.

Fr. Evangelist sits at the table quietly, listening to everything that is said.  He reclines with a small grin on his face and doesn't say a word.  And then, when someone asks him a question, he always dazzles us all with his sharp mind and deep spirit.

Fr. Gerald is the guardian of the house - his third stay at San Lorenzo Friary.  Before entering the Capuchins he worked for the Guinness Company in Dublin, Ireland.  That's right, Guinness.  
And then there is Luke the black lab who has become a great friend and companion after just two days here.  Yesterday, I asked him if he wanted to go for a walk.  He did; and took me for a walk!  He led me down a hill to a small nativity scene and just stopped there and poked around in the weeds.  That's right ... the dog took me for a walk ... to the nativity.  

This place does not cease to amaze me.  

One final note, for the first time in my life I saw the Milky Way live and with my own eyes.  What magnificence!  The heavens indeed do proclaim the glory of God! (ps. 19)

Until we talk again...


1 comment:

Joyce Garczynski Macks said...

Hi Matt,

Wanted to tell you about what happened at our weekly young adults scripture study. As we were sitting at Panera, discussing how I should handle talking to someone that has been challenging my faith, a woman comes up to our table and starts telling us her story of how she left Christianity for Paganism and how her "Christian" uncle would call her every Easter and tell her that she is going to hell. Most of us in the group thought she was on the verge of tears. Can you pray for her and continue your prayers for our group? Joyce