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