We leave the month of August behind and embrace September and Labor Day on Monday to honor the work of all those who pick and harvest the crops, who work to sustain our society especially all those in the service industries, and preserve the freedoms we hold dear. We give thanks to God for the workers who toil long and hard and for the wages they deserve.
There is so much of life that is bound up in ritual and tradition, so much of our life of faith that is bound up in the church’s rituals and traditions. There is Tradition with a capital T that holds onto
the rituals of the past that may not make full sense today, some say the “faith of dead people,” rituals simply observed without thought or reflection. There is also tradition with a small t, meaning the living faith of people today that leads us to worship and communion in the Eucharist. As Jesus points out to the Pharisees in Mark’s Gospel, it is insufficient to merely go through the motions of worship, observing the human precepts or laws possibly more for show than genuine heartfelt faith. Instead he expects people responding to God in faith from their hearts, hearts that are moved by mercy and compassion, hearts that feel the pain of others and have empathy for those who are in need.
Even Saint Augustine, the revered doctor of the church, who preached well, served the people and wrote extensively
trying to reveal the truths of God to the people had his own conversion experience. W e know he lived a wild and sometimes bawdy life, fathering a son outside of marriage and more, but he was also attentive to God, willing to listen to God’s voice in his life and the gentle prodding of his mother, Monica. Moved by the Spirit he composed these lines subsequently set to music: “Too late have I loved, O Beauty of ancient days, yet ever new! Too late have I loved you…You touched me and I burned for your peace. (St. Augustine, Confessions, Book 10, ch. 27). As restless as Augustine was, he found peace in Christ, found peace in his heart to live his faith from his heart. He is also known for these words, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee.” May we rediscover the power
of God’s peace when we live our faith from the heart, responding from our hearts out of love for the God who loves us
Summer Blessings, Father Larry Hendel, Pastor