Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Visit from Archbishop O'Brien

Tonight we were blessed to have our annual visit from Archbishop O'Brien (he actually is a good friend to the seminary and visits often, but this was his official visit). Each year the Archbishop has come in the fall to speak with all of the guys. He usually offers a thirty minute reflection as well as some words of wisdom. During my time at the Seminary (this is the start of my fourth year) Archbishop O'Brien has been a regular presence. He is very friendly and down to earth which allows him to relate well to all of us. His presentation this evening was particularly powerful.

Just a few weeks ago the Holy Father announced that Archbishop O'Brien had been appointed to be the grandmaster of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre. As the head of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre O'Brien will be based in Rome and will travel the world helping to support the work of the Church in the Holy Land. Sadly, this means that he will no longer be with us in Baltimore. Seeing and hearing him tonight was bittersweet as we know it won't be long before he has to leave. By special agreement with the Vatican O'Brien is being allowed to stay on in Baltimore until his replacement is installed. In the meantime we are enjoying every minute we have with him.

In his talk tonight he mentioned a Irish Benedictine who once said that when we enter prayer it is like sitting for a portrait, but we are not the subject, rather God paints the portrait in our hearts. I probably butchered the saying, but never the less the image of God painting a portrait in our hearts really struck me as beautiful.

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