September 2004

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Fr. Antony PortraitOur faith teaches us that at all times and in every place we are accompanied by the grace of God. We live and breathe and move in it. in face we cannot survive without it. God is always near, as some fathers say, closer than our own heartbeat or than our breath. This is a comforting thought. It is no coincidence that we call upon the Holy Spirit as "Comforter" and that Jesus assures us that He would never leave us nor forsake us. What remains is for us to be made aware of this incredible reality.

For me a great reminder came this week as I sat on a shuttle bus headed for the Democratic National Convention, all decked out in black cassock and gold pectoral cross. Usually I have noticed that people tend to avoid me when I am "dressed to the hilt", but not this time. A young man asked if he could site beside me and interview me for a paper he was writing on faith and politics. Of course, I welcomed him. Thus began a wonderful conversation, a grace-filled and joyful moment, with a young seeker of truth who just happened to be a rabbinical student from Manhattan. We spoke of God, of the search for truth and its application in personal and national life, we spoke of the meaning of morality as opposed to moralism and we became friends. I felt the presence of the Lord in this serendipitous meeting and I gave thanks to God for it.

I heard it said this evening, "miracles usually come in hindsight." I think that, if we remind ourselves that we are literally swimming in grace at every moment miracles can also come in foresight. I am reminded of the words of the great Paul, "Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice."

Much love to all of you,

Fr. Antony