I've been slow about posting this week; it's just been really busy. This is a busy time of year in general. For me the joy and the challenge of my ministry as parish priest come from the same fact: the outrageous diversity of the work. In the course of one day there is celebrating Mass, preaching, and leading prayers. In addition there are appointments in which you are called to pray with people, to offer spiritual advice or to plan events. And then there are homilies and talks to draft. Often there is a wake to attend in the afternoon, and usually an appointment or a committee meeting in the evening. Finally, there are technological and physical projects around the place to do or supervise, runs to the bank to be made, poor boxes to empty, vigil candles to light, telephone menus and websites to maintain, and thermostats to adjust.
In a way it's a beautiful ministry and a privilege, to have the chance to see the original blessing of God shining through into the world in so many different ways and in the lives of people in so many different situations and moments in life. On the other hand, it's easy to get worn out and scattered in spirit.
It's also why it's so important to take some "sabbath" from time to time, for the threefold Biblical purpose of imitating the Creator, taking time to restore ourselves in prayer, and to acknowledge that even though we work hard and do so many things, the ministry does not depend on our work, but on God.