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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Fellow disciples,

I trust you already know of my deep gratitude for all the cards, notes, conversations, social media posts, and especially prayers that provided so much comfort following my mother’s death. Until this past week, however, my brain had lagged behind my heart. I simply had no way to express the feelings that sometimes churned, and at other times simmered, within.

During a longish run on Thursday I returned to the analogy that relates our spiritual journeys to climbing a mountain. While not a perfect analogy, it helped me realize that for the past few months I’ve been camped on the mountain. That’s not inherently bad. One can’t climb – improve, grow – constantly. Rest is needed. Stopping also affords the opportunity to appreciate the journey already accomplished and that, I think, describes this past month.

I am staggered by the stack of cards, social media posts, and words of encouragement you’ve offered. Starting from the first day after Mom’s death, I have felt the prayer support offered by so many people and continue to sense it today. From my place on the mountain, I’m able to see God’s hand in it all and to appreciate in a deeper way the church as “the people of God.”

I needed that look back down the mountain. I also need to pack up and move on.

Quite honestly, I’m not sure I want to. I know what looms ahead. This next section of my spiritual mountain isn’t going to be easy – down right hard, I suspect – and while I know that God doesn’t ask me to climb things I can’t handle, it appears right now as if He’s pushing my limits. It would be easier to stay camped where I am. It’s comfortable and certainly easier to look back down the mountain than to turn around and look up.

Thank you so much for your part in showing me God’s love and grace in the past few weeks. You’ve helped form a picture and memory that will never leave me. You’ve also provided the encouragement to pack up and start up the steep section of the mountain that’s next on my route. I can’t repay you for either but I pray God will.

May He bless you on your own journey.

Fr. Kevin