It has occurred to me within the last week, the very thing causing me to anguish over loss of previous church relationships of another denomination, abundant blessings from ministries in that denomination and recognition for those ministries, is the virtue of humility. This very virtue if not recognized, can cause prideful feelings to creep into the soul which in turn can keep one from intimacy with Christ.
I recently was privileged to attend Vespers with the Conferral of Pontifical Honors at the Cathedral of St. Patrick’s in downtown Ft. Worth, Texas. A new Catholic friend of mine and future spiritual advisor was receiving the Benemerenti Medal for her work within the diocese in forming the Permanent Deacon program. This medal was created by Pope Pius VI in the late 1700’s in recognition of those individuals who have exemplified service in the Church. Following this service all were invited to attend a reception in a very large and new parish hall adjacent to the Cathedral. It was an enormous hall with many faces, none of whom I knew. Fifteen individuals received the various medals and of course many families and friends from local parishes were in attendance.
As I made my way around the room with a friend from St. Andrew’s, which is now my parish, I came to the realization this was the first very large reception I was attending at a Catholic function in which I knew no one. Having lived in Ft. Worth for the past 30+ years, been active in the Methodist community and a part of the pastoral family of ministers, this was an eye opening experience and very humbling for me. Had it been at a Methodist gathering, I would have known many of the pastors and laity and felt very much at home. Here I was just another Catholic in a sea of faces unknown to them and likewise they were unknown to me.