Praying for my loved ones and remembering friends of youth and later life, I began to see how feelings of love welled up within me. God’s love drew me close to Himself and bade me come away with Him. I feared to leave off praying for friend after friend as they came to mind that I leave someone untouched by His Mercy and Grace. Then He came closer still, and filled me now with peace and knowledge. His Spirit whispered to my heart, “Fear not!” He gave me to understand that all these, that I recalled and cherished, all these, I held in my heart and rediscovered with each rising memory, all these were enclosed within my very being, held fast by my love. As His arms embraced me in my prayer to draw me closer, the prayer of my heart for all of these sounded in His ears. For love of me, wretched sinner though I be, He enfolded all within His bosom, loving purely and eternally the image of His Son emblazoned upon my soul. He drew all to Himself, knowing, gracing and blessing. He knew them as I knew them of old and also as He finds them now, in the flesh or in the spirit. His grace is fresh and waters the ground of their present. He opens a loving wound in them that invites His love and healing.
I’ll be off in a bit to attend the ordination of Jeffrey Steenson. I can only imagine what is going on in his heart and head at this moment. Please say a prayer for Jeff, his family, and his church family, both Anglican and Catholic.
New directions bring mixed blessings for partings are hard. For Jeff, the need to explain his conscientious decision is an integral part of moving forward. “Forward” in God’s grace and plan means continuing to put your hands to the plow and looking back only with gratitude for the gift of the past. Friends, mentors, and teachers, all helped to prepare Jeff for this day. Now is a time of celebration. Now, with the Laying on of Hands, Jeffrey becomes a priest of the Roman Catholic Church. He enters on a new path on the road home. God bless you, soon-to-be, Rev. Fr. Jeffrey Neil Steenson!