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Come Aside And Rest


The ordeal - Sculpture by Edith Breckwoldt Citation by Dietrich Bonhoeffer  No man in the whole world can change the truth.  One can only look for the truth, find it and serve it.  The truth is in all places. Photo by emma7stem via wikipedia

The ordeal – Sculpture by Edith Breckwoldt
Citation by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
No man in the whole world can change the truth.
One can only look for the truth, find it and serve it.
The truth is in all places.
Photo by emma7stem via wikipedia

In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus says to His Apostles, “come away by yourselves and rest awhile.” It’s September, 1976.  I’m living in the Bishop’s House in Fairbanks, Alaska, for recuperations from a hospital stay.  In Northern Alaska, summer changes into winter!

This day, as usual, I am walking for exercise, a round trip of 8 miles to the Fairbanks Airport.  I could feel the winter chill.  No one is on the road.  My spirits are hitting a new low, a common happening after sickness.  At the Airport, as I sit down for my coffee and hamburger, I pick up an old, out of date “America” magazine – a Jesuit Weekly.

An article in it, written by a priest I know, Eugene Kennedy, catches my eye – “The Ministry of the Priest.”  I devour the essay as much as I do the meal.  In my low state of mind, the article gives me some new ideas on my Priesthood.  I walk home, a different person, excited about my work ahead with the Eskimos of Western Alaska.

In my “rest” I was recuperating “physically”, but forgetting the Lord’s place in this time of “coming aside.”  This article in the “America” magazine gave me “food” for my soul and thoughts of Christ.

Learn from my experience of long ago.  We need open times in the day and the week to draw aside and rest.  Physical rest alone will not put fuel into our mind for the uplift of our soul.  I strongly encourage our readers to pick up books and articles that will feed the spirit and bring God into our thinking.

In my younger, more mobile days, I would love to visit the local library.  Your local library is a real treasure house of reading material.  Look for books and writings about the life stories of people who have made big differences in their lives and the lives of others.  Just to mention a few of my favorites . . Michael Ramsey, former Archbishop of Canterbury of the Anglican Faith . . . Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran minister executed during World War II for his preaching against Nazism . . . Mahatma Gandhi, a Hindu, the Liberator of India from English rule by his use of non-violence.

Visit your local library often!  Read . . . Read . . . Read!

Fr. George Mc Kenna

September 27, 2016 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. Fr. McKenna, This one hit home with me. I spent most of my childhood in libraries reading, and today still read around 100 books a year. Thank you, and God Bless.

    Comment by Bartholomew Timm | September 27, 2016 | Reply

  2. I strongly agree, when we are physically not well its often when we need to nourish our spirituality too. Loved it, thank you & all God’s Blessings to you!

    Comment by Kimberly reicher | September 28, 2016 | Reply

  3. Thanks for sharing your reflection on “come away by yourselves and rest awhile.” It was cool the way the Lord invited Himself to the place of your “coming aside.” He used what you love (reading) and who you know (Eugene Kennedy) to re-kindle the Spirit within you. Thanks for your concern for your readers. For me reading is very important, and your blogs re-kindle my spirit. And so your very act of sharing becomes a means for our Lord to recapture the hearts of others. I look forward to each blog.

    Comment by Ed Miskovic | September 28, 2016 | Reply


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