From the Bishop: Autumn 2015
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ –
The signs are everywhere. Nighttime temps are dropping well into the, “you really need a coat” range. Fallen leaves are increasingly dotting our yards and clogging our downspouts. Our hope for a banner season on the part of the Husker football team has been put off for yet another year. It must be Fall.
My rhythm of my life is beat out by two different calendars. There is the secular calendar, with “legal” holidays and the changing natural seasons, and then there is the Church calendar, with feasts, fasts, ferial days – and a collection of different seasons bounding different truths. I happen to cherish both calendars, though sometimes my life is complicated when they don’t coordinate as well as I wish they would!
Years ago I read the beautiful book, Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez. I’ve often gone back to this title for some deeper understanding about a culture not my own, for its sublime writing, and most of all, to read about one man’s complicated love affair with Catholic Christianity. One of my favorite parts of the book is in the section entitled Credo, where Rodriguez writes in part about the calendars that ordered his life as a Mexican American, Roman Catholic child. “The secular calendar whirled like a carnival wheel and offered carnival prizes,” he writes, “a fat Santa instead of the infant God; colored eggs and chocolate bunnies instead of the death and resurrection of Christ.”
“The Church rocked through time,” he writes elsewhere in the book, “a cradle, an ark – to rhythms of sorrow and joy marking the passage of man.”
With our human hearts, time beats on and the pages of the calendar inevitably turn. Perhaps these autumn days, so short and heartbreakingly beautiful, can serve as a reminder of how precious is our every day on earth. I pray that you might connect deeply with your local church this fall and by fully participating with your brothers and sisters in the body of Christ, count on it to hallow your journey and help make meaning of every single day.
Faithfully Yours in Christ –
+ Bishop Barker