Friday, July 07, 2006

Bishop Envy


Robert Vasa is the the Bishop of Baker (Eastern) Oregon. IMHO he is one of the best bishops in the US. Not only has he done an excellent job cleaning up his own diocese, but he also has issued wonderful pastoral letters and teaching columns. In short he is a real bishop; he teaches, governs, and makes holy. I keep praying that he will be appointed the next Bishop of Salt Lake City, or we will get one like him.

He recently wrote a great column "Real danger lies in lack of reverence for Lord in Eucharist". It has caused all sorts of waves in the Blogosphere. (HTs to various sources I am too lazy to list.) The following paragraph really struck a nerve with me.

The strong communitarian aspects of the Holy Eucharist are certainly important and do likewise need to be fostered, but not at the expense of direct adoration of our Lord. It is our Lord, after all, who says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest, for My yoke is easy and my burden light.” The Lord does allow each of us to share in His mission of caring for our brothers and sisters and being sources of rest and burden lightening for them, but we do not ever replace Him. He remains with us, abiding in our midst, and it is to Him whom we must turn in a primary sort of way. Very often on retreat there are an abundance of words, and those human words are important, but it has been my experience, and now the experience of young families and high-school youth, that more good spiritual “work” can be done directly by our Lord in 15 minutes of intense adoration than in hours of conferences. “There can be no danger of excess in our care for this mystery.”

It has often struck me that we have allowed ourselves to be mired up to our necks in committees and meetings, as if our salvation is found through bureaucracy, as if the Gospel is spread through Robert's Rules of Order. (My personal theory is that committees are the 11th plague on Egypt. If killing the firstborn had not have worked, then the Egyptians would have been compelled to break into small groups and share.) Our time is better spent adoring the Lord as it is He that gives us the strength to deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow after Him. This is part of the reason why my church is left open during the day.
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