August 28: From the Pastor

Today marks the feast of St. Augustine, who once wrote these words of praise to the Lord, “You are good and all-powerful, caring for each one of us, as though each is the only one in your care.” This sentiment has sometimes been more popularly interpreted as “God loves each of us, as if there were only one of us.” However we read it, the point remains the same: we are loved by God in a way that is beautiful, generous, and unique.
Although I am in the middle of 10 days of quarantine (having tested positive for Covid-19), I know I am not alone. A lot of us are living through what might be charitably called a “rough patch” right now — lock-down, illness, isolation, disconnection, and alienation; all of these are weighing heavily on us and on the world. But we need to know this in the face of all of that: we are loved.
Father Billy Swan wrote a book called “Finding God: Faith and Mental Health.” His thoughts probably resonate with a lot of us during these challenging times we are living in: “The first and most basic message of the Christian faith is the pronouncement that we are accepted and loved unconditionally by God. In the Bible, St John reminds us of two of the most foundational doctrines of the whole Christian Gospel. First, that “God is Love” (1 Jn 4,8) – not that God is like love or does love, but rather He is love itself. God’s essence and nature is love at the core. The second follows on from this, that “God loved us first” (1 Jn 4,19). God’s love precedes anything we can ever say or do by way of response. Christians believe that God loving us does not depend on us earning that love by how we behave. This is the love of God revealed in Jesus Christ and the gift that is continually offered to all in every place and time.”
Thank you for the many ways you remind me that I am loved – by you and by God! Your prayers and your generous support inspire me and I hope you know how deeply grateful I am that we are making this present journey through this “rough patch” together.
Let us pray. “O Lord our God, let us find hope under the shadow of your wings. You will support us, both when little, and even to gray hairs. When our strength is from you, it is strength. When it is our own, it is weakness. We return to you, O Lord, that our weary souls may rise towards you, leaning on the things which you have created, and passing on to yourself, since you have wonderfully made them; for with you is refreshment and true strength. Amen.” St. Augustine (4th century)

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