April 20, 2021 Gratitude for 35 Years

In Ireland, complaining is called “Giving Out.”  The Irish are master complainers.  Complaining is like a national sport… and we’re very good at it!  Sometimes we don’t know which complaint to lead with:

I can’t describe how much pain I’m in today.

The weather let us down.  They called for rain and it turned out sunny.

The politicians today are ruining the country.

What’s wrong with the young people?  They’re always texting!

There is always something that the Irish are not happy with.

In truth, all of us have so very much for which to be grateful — especially the gift to be alive, the unfolding beauty of Creation, and ALL the people God has placed in our dance of Life.

I received a note from a young friend saying he was sorry to hear about all the problems I’ve been telling others about.  This friend is a font of wisdom. His note makes clear that, what I thought was “sharing,” is indeed, full-blown, chronic complaining.  For which I am sorry.

So, for all my “giving out,” I ask forgiveness.  Today: April 20th, I celebrate the anniversary of 35 years as a priest.  I could not be more blessed!  On the day of my ordination, I felt unworthy.  Today, I am more aware of just how unworthy I am.  And yet, priesthood is where God has brought me.  So, I have to trust that God knows better.

Today, I am truly grateful– for everything and everyone that makes my life so incredible, including:

–every member of my family (I love each and every one of you and miss you so very much);

–a parish house that is filled with adventures;

–a dog who loves me more than I deserve;

–a beautiful parish community that is teaching me how to see and experience Christ (each and every blessed member!);

–the aches and pains of broken body parts and an aging body, all helping me to learn compassion for everyone who suffers;

–friends who haven’t given up on me even though I can be a real pain in the neck;

–the Catholic Church: with a long history of “missing the mark,” I am very much like the Catholic Church.  Still, the church is where God has pursued me and found me and, on occasion, revealed a love that is brilliant and truly universal…

Today, I also had the honor of concelebrating the Chrism mass with our Bishop and so many holy priests of the diocese.  In 1986, at the Cathedral of St. Peter, I was ordained.  That day was sunny and beautiful too.  My family and friends and so many blessed disciples filled the Cathedral.  I cried on the day I was ordained and today, in receiving holy communion, I again cried. 

What a long strange, amazing journey it’s been.  For the blessing of it ALL… despite my many selfish mistakes, the road has been filled with moments of deep love and overwhelming compassion… I give thanks to God, and to you…and to every saint and sinner whom I have been privileged to meet along the way. 

We live in a wonderful world that is filled with a grace that is waiting to be discovered.  Every moment of every day is a precious blessing to be cherished.  To find beauty in the world, we must first find it in ourselves.  As the journey continues… let us seek Christ.  And, in finding and becoming our truth, let us be Christ in the world.

Blessings and peace,

   Fr. Greg Corrigan

One response to “April 20, 2021 Gratitude for 35 Years

  1. Dear Greg,

    Happy 35th Anniversary ????. How wonderful that you have been gifted with these years to share God’s gracious love with so many whose lives you have touched. You have indeed been a great blessing to so many along your faith journey. As for worthiness… I have learned that Jesus never held that up as a criteria for sharing his good news of compassion, justice, inclusion, forgiveness, mercy and love. That prayer before communion wasn’t written by Jesus…his desire is for us to come…all are welcome…you say that often. He calls All..not just “the many”…the so called worthy…but all. That is the gift we share.

    I was surprised to see you were just sharing the Chrism Mass with your brothers…or maybe that experience was earlier. I do pray for a time when all who are called…women and men…will share together those sacred rites.

    You have such a good heart and that is a great gift. Jesus didn’t call perfect people to be part of that first “illustrious “ group of so called “leaders”…he called those who were open to new possibilities and surprises as the Spirit led them. That hasn’t changed. We stand on all the shoulders of those amazing, mixed up, messy, lovable, crazy but faithful followers of a carpenter from a small town in Galilee whose short life but powerful message and example changed the world then…and now in remarkable ways. Today with the George Floyd trial we see that continued presence of the crucified and risen Christ alive.

    So much to be grateful for, to rejoice in our struggles and continue to support and work towards greater healing, peace, compassion as we approach each precious day.

    Rejoice, dear brother, take heart. You are not called to “save the world”…or the parish! You are called to be who you are with gifts to share and call forth from others. Community life calls for each one to offer what is possible. This has been a most challenging and difficult year for all of us and it will take time and God’s Spirit to lead us forward. I don’t see that being rushed. Too much has changed for each one. There is no real “normal “ at this point…but something new to unfold that perhaps will make us uncomfortable as we search out and discover how we can continue to be Resurrection people. I have no answers as I struggle with the path ahead as well. I do know we are not alone and God walks with us no matter what is happening around us or within us.

    You see the late hour…my poor brain is obviously more asleep than awake so this may not make any sense. Perhaps just thoughts swirling around in my being on this April 20…a day that has new and old meaning for each person alive today! Blessings and peace. I pray you sleep well this night.

    MaryLouise ??????

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