Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Rainbow of Forgiveness!

The following is a third in a series of sermons on Love, Reconciliation and Forgiveness. They are Gospel words. They are Gospel words, they are the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Living the Gospel III

I have some news for your this morning; extraordinary news! You are forgiven. All the wrongs you have done throughout your life have all been wiped clean off the slate and are no more counted against you. All the big sins as well as all those everyday ones you still struggle with on a daily basis. They’re all gone. Your are forgiven.

We come now to the most difficult of all the great words of the Gospel. The word of course is forgiveness. I find it difficult for many reasons, beginning with me. Then there’s everybody else. How in the world is it that God would take even the first thought for the likes of me or you? Every time I read the 8th Psalm, words of amazing grace stop me in dead my tracks and take my breath away.
“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, *
    the moon and the stars you have set in their courses,
What is man that you should be mindful of him? *
    the son of man that you should seek him out?
You have made him but little lower than the angels; *
    you adorn him with glory and honor”
~Psalm 8:4-6
Every time I gaze into the stars of heaven, or stop to take a thought for the magnificence of creation and the mystery of life, I wonder; God is mindful of me? God has made me but a little lower than the angels? Male and female, all humankind alike, such is the mindfulness of God?

The idea of forgiveness comes hard to me. 

That’s because the signature moment of my life early on was the death of my father at Christmas when I was eight years of age. Yes, you heard right. Just the saying of the words is harsh let alone the reality I lived with in those years. And harsh words were said of my father then by those who should have known better. Young and traumatized ears were around. But harsh words were said. The religious folks in the family even went so far as to say that my dad could not go to heaven because he did not go to church. Good God! Not only am I not to see my dad in this life again, now you’re telling me I won’t see him in the next either? This is how an eight year old child is to cry himself to sleep every night? As I say, harsh words were said. Thankfully my immediate family was not religious. They said that my dad would go to heaven sooner than that religious lot.

It was hard at church too. My grandmother sent me there hoping it might help. I said the words “Our Father”, and I sat under the crossing of St. James in North Cambridge peering into the vault that was the marvel of that church but alas I could not see my Father; either the one who died or the one who was Almighty Eternal. I confess that I was glad for the Psalms I read in church. They gave me the latitude for anger and rage I felt, if only of the biblical sort; 
Awake, O Lord! why are you sleeping? *
     Arise! do not reject us for ever.
~Psalm 44:23
How long, O LORD?
will you forget me for ever? *
    how long will you hide your face from me?
How long shall I have perplexity in my mind,
and grief in my heart, day after day? *
~Psalm 13:1,2
And my all time favorite, the one Jesus himself used when he was staring into oblivion;
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? 
~Psalm 22:1

It was that way for me for over two years when one day on the way home from Church on a sunny summer’s day, I was walking along a shabby old scrawny urban hedge and pulled a leaf from one of its unkempt branches and as I pressed my finger into its green girth a sentence came to my heart. I did not hear voices as some of those characters on TV do. No, it was just a sense of things that came to me. 

And it said; “Do you not know there is room in my heart for your dad?” I stopped dead in my tracks to listen. It did not repeat itself, but my heart had heard it and I repeated it. Then I gave it voice and repeated it out loud. I ran home as fast as I could. In those days I could do such a thing. I burst into the kitchen where my grandmother stood presiding over her cast iron skillet as she was peppering up something good to eat. 

I hastened to her and tugged at her apron as I often did when I needed to ask for something.
“Ma, is there a God?”
“Of course there is” she said as if that were plain and obvious.
“Ma, is there a Heaven?” I asked more urgently.
Now with just a note of irritation she said; “Of course there is!” You could tell she was in no mood to do theology just now. There were mouths to be fed.
“Ma, is my daddy there?” This I had to ask with a note of daring authority. I knew what she thought of the Irish. I’d heard her say that they ruined Boston more than once. So I realized I was pressing my luck here.
She hesitated, I must tell you. After all the idea of spending an eternity in Heaven with an Irishman, especially with my father, must have given her pause. There was that separation and the nasty divorce to factor in to what she said next.
She knelt down then. I can’t say as I remember her ever doing that before or since. She held me close and folded my head into the nape of her neck. It is as if I can still smell her hair for this moment has stayed with me forever since and she said;

“Of course he is.”

With these words my dad was forgiven both by God and my grandmother. Yes, there is room in God’s heart for my dad! Yes Ma loves him too if only grudgingly. At least as much as to allow me to spend time with him in heaven, which is all I ask.

It was in the wake of this second signature moment in my life that I decided to become a priest. The forgiveness and grace I experienced in that one moment is the forgiveness and experience that I share with you now in this moment. And I will share it for the rest of my life with all whether they ask for it or not.

Jesus who stood on the cross and forgave those who did him violence stands with me and my dad, my grandmother and my difficult and harsh mother, somehow pouring out forgiveness over the whole world. Is there Balm in Gilead? If there is, it is a most precious balm indeed. It is a healing compound with which God salves all our wounds.

What I find astounding about forgiveness is that Jesus begins with it. He stands on the cross and forgives the sins of the whole world, pouring out his life for us. He forgives the tax collectors, the fishermen, the woman at the well, the sick, the lepers, and especially the sinners and the outcasts. This offends the religious folks. I have always found that refreshing.

Then comes repentance. I know that John and Jesus both preach a repentance for the sake of the forgiveness of our sins. But, when we read the record, he begins with forgiveness. Repentance then seems to be the fruit of forgiveness not the other way around, which had always been my assumption up until I reread the Gospel again and again for the first time. How refreshing the Gospel always seems to be.

There is, however, the matter of abuse. I must tell you that there is the matter of abuse. I faced a great deal of harshness as a child and it took everything I had within me to fight my way out of it. Many of you have had to do likewise. In fact I found the church was my refuge to tell you the truth because my home was not always so. Again the Psalmist came to my aid;
Show me your marvelous loving-kindness, *
    O Savior of those who take refuge at your right hand
    from those who rise up against them.
Keep me as the apple of your eye; *
    hide me under the shadow of your wings,
From those who assault me, *
~Psalm 17:7-9

Isn’t it dreadful to know that the church has also been a source of abuse for so many?

One of the most difficult things for those who face abuse verbal as well as physical is to confuse forgiveness with victimization. To be forgiven does not mean to remain inside the grinding cycle of violence. That’s called guilt.

No, we are forgiven and the greatest marvel of forgiveness is that we are called to be nothing less than what God has created us to be; “a little lower than the angels”...that’s what God wants us to be remember. If you find yourselves in an abusive relationship then forgiveness requires you to fight for the dignity God has created you for. You must ask for help.

Remember this; God did not create junk. We have been created for “glory and honor”.

This is because we are forgiven; each and every one of us. Yes, we are forgiven.

In these three weeks we’ve have focused on three great Gospel words: Love, Reconciliation, and Forgiveness. I find it helpful to appreciate the simplicity as well as the complexity of the Gospel. I hope you have too. 

Let me leave you with these good Gospel words; “My you be filled with all the fullness of God” 
~Ephesians 3:19.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. AMEN.

Fr Paul.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Reconciliation as a Pathway to God

Living the Gospel II

The Gospel is about reconciliation. 

All those false dichotomies of race, ethnicity, gender and orientation; they are all false. The cultural warfare over the Treyvon Martin killing in Florida, Marriage Equality, the dilemma over Abortion Rights and Freedom of Choice, Gun is all false...for all shall be reconciled in Christ Jesus our Lord.

How, you ask? I suspect it will take all of us working at it, honestly, openly, and with an open heart, ready to listen, change, and grow.

In today’s Epistle my namesake reaches what I consider to be a one of those great moments of theological insight. Paul, as we know, had his days when he seems to have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed, but in this case, he seems to have hit the theological nail right on the proverbial head; 

“For in (Jesus) all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.”
         ~Colossians 1:19 & 20

If, last week we began with an exploration of the first great Gospel word “Love”, and worked it toward an understanding of how it becomes the standard by which we learn to live the Gospel life, so too this week, allow me to invite you to explore with me how the great Gospel word “Reconciliation” continues to keep us “on track” if you will, in living the life God would have us live. 

This three week Gospel series is really about “Living the Gospel” or “Proclaiming it” in thought, word, and deed. I am trying to suggest here that to do so is really quite a simple and straight forward matter. These three great words sum it up, crystallize it, and simplify it. The Gospel in a three word nutshell: Love, Reconciliation, and Forgiveness.

When we were a younger family, we used to look forward to packing  ourselves up in the minivan and towing our much loved pop up tent trailer to Maine; Old Orchard Beach to be particular, Powder Horn Campground to be absolutely precise. For many years it became our “summer home”, if you will. When we arrived, there was a lot of work to be done to set things up. There was a moment though in the midst of things when Cindy would say; “Why don’t you and the kids head off to the pool”. She didn’t have to say that twice. We were off in a flash. It was probably one way of getting us out of her hair so she could have a moment or two of peace and quiet. We headed off to the pool, and there we splashed the day away and cooled off and indulged ourselves in gales of laughter. Eventually, Cindy made her way down to the pool and smiled at the way we were obviously enjoying ourselves. 

My oldest son once told Cindy; “We love you mom, bud dad is more fun!”. Such is the case in our family. Often enough it seems to work out that she gets to do the grunt work and the boys and I get to have the fun.

Such is the case too it seems with Mary and Martha. Somebody has to do the grunt work. Somebody else gets to spend quality time with Jesus. Mary sits at his feet soaking up all that wisdom, being imbued with the radiance of his Light, and drinking deeply from the fountain of eternal life in the very presence of God Incarnate.

But it begs the question; “Do you not care that I have all this work to do? Tell my sister to give me a hand.” Is Jesus that callous as to disregard Martha’s plight or is something else going on here in this Gospel? 

Folks, if we look at our lives, let me suggest to you, you’re probably a bit too busy. You may not be taking enough time for yourselves. You very likely don’t take enough time to pray, to exercise, to read, to care for and about yourself and those who really matter.  Just Friday Brother Almquist of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist gave us this word.

"In our culture at this time, I suspect that most of us need to do less rather than more. The blur of our life begins to clear as we slow down and abide with contentment in the day and the place and the life we’ve been given, which is a gift. And God intends for it to be good."
~Br. Curtis Almquist

So we come back now to the Mary, Martha, and Jesus dynamic. There are the chores of Martha, there is the learning of Mary and there is the teaching of Jesus. I suspect that the fact is in life that all three things must be; simply be. There must be the teaching and the learning. But when all that is said and done, somebody’s is going to have to get up and do the dishes.

The fact is in any household, that there are dishes to be washed, floors to be cleaned, carpets to be vacuumed, lawns to be mowed, bushes to be trimmed and the trash to be taken out. That’s obvious. But there is also the matter of our vital conversations with one another. Any marriage or family system is driven to wellness or comes to a screeching halt depending on on well we communicate, and how effectively we deal with conflict. The matter of Justice simply requires that we all give one another a hand with the chores, the joys and the fun of life. We all need all of life, and we all need to look out for one another to live it to the fullest.

The Gospel is not just about the Compassionate Father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son. It is not just about the repentant son. Nor is it just about the resentful older brother or even the mother who has to cook for all the folly of all that testosterone. The Gospel is about all of us as we take our places on the stage of Salvation History and live out our lives as God would have us live them, so that all becomes reconciled to God and to one another.

Remember as you read the Gospel. It is not about who is right or wrong, it is about the whole of life and how we live each part of it. The Gospel is not about whether Mary or Martha is right or wrong. It is about the reconciling love of Jesus for both. Reconciliation begins with a recognition that the two are not a choice between the one and the other, but that the two are part and parcel of a whole. This is the ministry of reconciliation. 

Paul tells us we have been given the ministry of reconciliation not only in today’s Epistle, but in yet another of his soaring passages on living the Gospel. In his second letter to the Christians in Corinth, he says; 
“For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”
~2 Corinthians 5:14-20

All this is very good, but what of those who do not want to be reconciled? After all there are those marriages that die due to irreconcilable differences. And moreover there are those seemingly intractable conflicts that always simmer near the surface of our lives. I suspect that too often we forget the Gospel words Love, Reconciliation, and Forgiveness. How powerful those words are and how graceful when we live them.

As a man of Irish descent, at least in part, I can tell you that the Capulets and the Montagues are not just two families in a play but the very archetype of human and family conflict like our own Hatfields and McCoys. 

And lest we forget the ages old Protestant and Catholic conflict in Ireland that is now somewhat in abeyance since the Good Friday Agreement of April 10, 1998. It is a complex agreement but it has held the animosities in check at least for some time now.

What then of the Middle East? Will our fellow Bay Stater and countryman John Kerry, actually get the Israelis and the Palestinians to the table to talk? Talk about animosities! Anyone who dares to approach such warring madness risks the ire of the extreme of either camp. Yitzhak Rabin paid with his life the price of signing the Oslo Accords with Yassser Arafat in 1993. 

Anwar Sadat also paid with his life for signing the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty in 1979. Both men won the Nobel Peace Price. Both men gave their lives for the cause of peace.

Yes, exactly. what if there are those who do not want to be reconciled? What then shall we do? Shall we give up? Or shall we work on to that time when all God’s Children will hold their hands together and sing of the freedom God gives us in the very ministry of Christ which is to reconcile all to himself? This is not just the dream of Martin Luther King. This, in the words of Desmond Tutu is the Dream of God.

You know, when I think of Left Wingers and Right Wingers in American political life, I think too of the Eagle as a symbol of our this great nation, or at least about its potential for greatness. A bird cannot fly without both wings, duh! Neither can we without a recognition that it will take all of us pulling together to lift ourselves to the soaring heights we were designed to achieve. Alas, we have so much to learn in the infancy of our human moral development.

Jesus paid the ultimate price too for this ministry of reconciliation. I hope it doesn’t always come to that. But that’s our work: I'll grant you; an unending work. It is a good way to live our lives. A way that leads to eternal life. It is a Gospel life. 

So then there is Love.
There is the Ministry of Reconciliation.
Next week we’ll focus our energy on Forgiveness.
But every day we live the Gospel.

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Gospel.
Fr Paul.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

What Must I do to inherit eternal life?

The following is the first in a series of three sermons that I plan to preach at St. Andrew's Church in Marblehead MA. "Living the Gospel: A Meditation on three great Gospel words; Love, Reconciliation and Forgiveness." 

Living the Gospel I

Good morning my dear friends. My name is Paul Bresnahan and I am an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church. I live in Lynn just off Lynn Shore Drive where I have a commanding view of the ocean from my front porch. The dog and I enjoy watching the tide come and go.

I was ordained to the Diaconate in 1972 by Bishop John Melville Burgess at The Church of the Epiphany in Winchester, and ordained later that year at St Luke’s Church in Linden Square Malden. Alas that church is no longer with us. I served at Christ Church in Hyde Park, Boston for eight years during the integration crisis. From there I went to Euclid, Ohio during yet another integration conflict on Cleveland’s east side. After another eight years there, I went to Pawley’s Island in South Carolina where I served two tiny black congregations in the wake of the ravages of Hurricane Hugo. That didn’t last long at all given my advocacy for the poor and the Bishop’s reluctance to confront a fellow Episcopalian who was buying land at auction from the cash poor residents of the place. The practice made the poor much poorer and to do such a thing offended my sense of justice. During the ensuing conflict with the then Bishop of South Carolina, I lost, he won.

I returned to Massachusetts to serve another St. Andrew’s Church in Methuen for four years. From there I went to St. Mark’s Church in Saint Albans West Virginia where I expanded the ministries of a soup kitchen a food pantry, transitional housing for battered women and their children and went on to build a homeless shelter. This ministry satisfied me a great deal. I stayed there for almost twelve years. I retired from there to return to Salem, where I served historic St. Peter’s part-time, so to speak, for five years during which time we expanded our ministry to include a Spanish speaking congregation. I retired a second time and before long was invited to go to Douglassville, PA to serve a marvelous congregation as an interim priest for about 15 months. I retired a third time just a few weeks ago after taking half a dozen teenagers to France on an amazing Pilgrimage to places like Rouen, Lisieux, Caen, Mont St Michel and of course Paris. 

They say three’s the charm, but the phone rang when we were in Paris at our last supper there and as a result of that phone call I have an appointment with Bishop Paul Marshall in Bethlehem, PA to explore the possibility of yet another interim position. I shall ponder all these things and keep them in my heart as scripture says Mary did after the Annunciation. After all, the majesty of life; all that we’ve lived and all that we have yet to live requires us to ponder these things in our heart.

If you do the math, I’ve been ordained for 41 years. I must confess to you how much I love the church. Yes, it can be maddening, frustrating, and it can drive you to distraction at times, but the pure majesty of it; the worship of God and the love and care of God’s people and the service we share among rich and poor, among black and white and Spanish speaking and so forth, among male and female and yes among the gay and the straight alike; all this ministry is about nothing less than the love of God and the love of our neighbor. God knows, working out the particulars of our salvations takes a lifetime. 

What must I do to inherit eternal life? I suspect I have been doing it all my life. I suspect you have too. After all, eternal life begins with our baptism, not at the point of death. It won’t do us much good when we’re dead. The time to live like Jesus is here and now!

Look how Jesus responds to the lawyer who stood up to test him in today’s Gospel. He too wanted to know what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus was careful to repeat the “Shema” the ancient first law of the congregation of Israel.
Hear O Israel, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind."
This is the first and great commandment. The word “hear” in Hebrew is the word “Shema”, hence the name of the foundational commandment of the whole Law and the Prophets. This must have pleased the lawyer. This is what Jesus was supposed to have said.

But Jesus did something else with his reading of the Law. Something I find stunning. His heart and mind searched the entire scripture in the twinkling of an eye. He landed upon a somewhat obscure half verse in the Law of Leviticus, one not terribly well emphasized in regulation by the Levitical tradition. 

Of all the laws that come to us from the entire Rabbinical tradition, and there are 613 of them, 247 come from Leviticus, this particular commandment comes to us from Leviticus 19, versus 17 & 18. The law represents a “summary” if you will of many injunctions found in the first 19 chapter of Leviticus. And that law says quite directly “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”. 

Jesus clearly ties the two laws together and in Matthew’s version he says specifically that the second law is exactly like the first. It is, if you will, “congruent” with the “Shema”.

Thus the Law and the Prophets is summed up in these two commandments. You shall love God and you shall love one another.

The Gospel of God is  love. This is the Good News. Fill your life with it.

Sound easy. Ha! Just think of your familial relationships; parents to children, siblings and their rivalries. Nation to nation. Republicans and Democrats, Israelis and Arabs, Sunnis and Shia. Good God, love your neighbor!

And worse yet, he said “Love your enemies”.

How in the world can such a thing be? I’ll tell you how. This is how you and I are to inherit eternal life. A new commandment I give you, Jesus said; “Love one another”.

Look, I have a confession to make. My brother drives me to distraction. He is as conservative as I am liberal. He is always trying to convert me to Christianity. I maintain that I’ve already done that. We have an interesting if strained relationship and have done since childhood. But he is my brother. I must therefore do everything in my power to maintain a loving relationship with him. As you and I must do everything in our power to maintain loving relationships with all in our families.

The Gospel love of which Jesus speaks and of which God requires goes much beyond familial bond. The Samaritans claimed they were the true Judaism untainted by the Babylonian exile. After all this portion of Judaism remained in the land and maintained the Torah in a Hebrew that actually predates the Hebrew of Jesus time. The Samaritans were loathed by many Jews of the day. 

So when Jesus pointedly tells the story of the Good Samaritan to this particular lawyer, I’m sure lots of ears were raised, many eyes looked askance. This Jesus obviously had a new take on the “Shema”. In the case of Jesus we were talking about a love that pierced through the classifications that we humans like to make as we organize ourselves into various ethnicities, races, classes, genders, and yes, orientation.

The Gospel is love. It is hard work. It will take a lifetime. But it leads to eternal life. The kingdom of heaven, as Jesus said, is within you. As you live into the truth of your own heart, you increase the chances of living into the heart of God. That’s worth doing because as you live into the heart of God, you in fact learn to live eternal life.

If ever the world needed to hear such a message, this is the time. While we are entitled to all our opinions, ideologies, patriotic ethnocentricity and so forth, we are not entitled to anything other than love. For God is love.

For the next few weeks, I would like to invite you to explore with me several great words of Gospel life. Today we explore the majestic but often overworked word “love”. Yet if lived as Jesus preaches it and as God requires it, the power of the word builds a life that shall never end. 

Next week, I will ask you to explore the word reconciliation and finally during my third and last Sunday with you, I will ask you to work with me on the word forgiveness. These three words are at the core of living a Gospel life. This is a life worth living. It is pure joy. It is nothing less than eternal life.

Blessings on you one and all,
Fr Paul

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

A Pilgrimage to France

St Gabriel's Youth Journey to France
"Encountering God"

Every day we gathered for Morning Prayer and Compline, led primarily by our Pilgrims.

On our way to the Cathedral at Rouen, I reminded our pilgrims that over the great west doors at the cathedrals, we will see sculptures of the Last Judgment. The passage from scripture on which this art is based is from Matthew 25:31ff. "Insofar as you have done it to one of the least of these, you have done it to me". The passage is about God's judgment of the nations of the earth. Read the passage yourself. The poor, the hungry, the homeless, the suffering the outcast are among those Jesus considers the "least of these". Everyone who enters the greatest cathedrals of France sees the same scene. Those who presented this scene to the faithful understood how important the final judgment is to our ultimate understanding of scripture is about. Kings and Queens must enter the Cathedrals by these same doors. This is a reminder of how the rich and powerful are to treat those who are not so blessed.

It came to me that the encounter with God by Moses was a good way to organize our thoughts for this pilgrimage.

We began our first full day in France with the story of Moses at the burning bush. The scripture says that God spoke to Moses out of the burning bush to say; "Take off your shoes, for the land on which you stand is holy ground". I explained to our Pilgrims that it is obvious that the much of the ground on which we stood throughout this pilgrimage was holy. I suggested to our pilgrims that it is always the case that the ground on which they stand is holy, because life itself is holy.

Next we read that God told Moses that he had seen the suffering of God's people. God told Moses to go to Pharaoh and say; "Let my people go." The question for our lives then is that we too see the suffering of God's people. How shall we go to our "Pharaoh" to say; "Let my people go". How shall we confront the reality of injustice and oppression in our time.

When we came to the following day of our pilgrimage, we read in the same chapter (Exodus 3) that God revealed his Name to Moses: "I AM". It appears that God's Name has to do with the very nature of God's Being. So too, as we awaken to our "being" we learn of who we are and who God is for us. This is the very essence of our pilgrimage. Several of our pilgrims walked the labyrinth at Chartres and discovered God's heart beating within them. 

On our way to worship at the American Cathedral in Paris, we moved on to a few verses from the Sermon on the Mount. There comes a time in a Pilgrim's journey, when we are no longer searching so much as we now become the source of God's own Light. Thus we become the "salt of the earth" and the "light of the world".

On preparing for our return home I read the concluding words of the Sermon on the Mount. "Those who listen to these words of mine and acts on them will be like the one who builds his home on rock. When the storms come, the rain, the floods, the winds, the house did not fall, because it was built on rock. But the foolish one who does not do so will be like the foolish one who builds his home on sand, and when the storms arise, the house will fall, and great will be the fall of that house."

Thus the St Gabriel's Pilgrimage 2013 was about encountering God in the least of these, at God's burning bush. We are standing on holy ground, and God's ask us to notice the suffering of God's people. God's Name is holy and so is ours so we become the salt of the earth and the light of the world. As you listen to God and do as God asks you will build your lives on solid ground; on rock.

I will stand by those words with joy in my heart of these young people and pray that they will long remember this journey to the heart of God.

Fr Paul