Thursday, October 05, 2006
Speaking of them, last night they brought me a picture in a frame taken at the Happening closing that has already found a special place of honor on my desk. At the risk of embarrassing them, but because I want to brag, I will share it with you here. We talked a lot last night about their experience of Happening. I had some private discussions with some of them who wanted to share more personal stuff, but I think by and large, they got out of it what God intended for them to get out of it, whether that be confirmation of their faith, or the courage to speak up about their doubts and fears.
This coming Sunday we are celebrating St. Francis and will include a blessing of the animals in the liturgy. From what I hear, there's going to be quite the crowd here, including homo sapiens sapiens and many others. The liturgy is all worked up - I got to design almost all of it, as doing such a service was my idea (though in fairness, for the logistics of most of it, I copied what we did last year at St. Luke's). I am also the preacher for the day and I've worked up what I think is a pretty decent sermon in honor of blessed Francis. I decided to let the blessing of the animals speak for itself and not dwell on it in the sermon, though I will mention the animals' presence briefly in the beginning. No, what I want to talk about instead is something I noted from the Lesser Feasts and Fasts entry about Francis. It said that while Francis is the most beloved of all saints, he is the least imitated. One of the things that I love which Francis is reported to have said is, "Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words." So, the bulk of my sermon will be sharing some stories from my life where people imitated Francis to me, and preached the Gospel to me in so doing, with the instruction and hope that it will call to the minds of those who hear times in their lives when the same has happened to them. I believe it will work out nicely.
There is no shame in copying liturgies from the past ... especially if they work well!