Yesterday, I came to a realization that a particular relationship is possibly coming to a close…this is a good thing.   As I prepare myself for a sabbatical/retreat in October, I have thought that when I return I can finish with my counselor.

Eight long years we have met, initially twice per month, then once per month.  He has helped to find my footing in life.

This counseling opened up my spiritual life as well; early on I knew that this would not be a pure “secular” approach, God’s healing would be needed.  That healing was grounded in a phrase that I had somewhat disdained intially…that I am a beloved child of God.  uggghhhhhhhh!  How overly sweet and superficial, how un-manly it was (so I thought).  This was the stuff I learned in summer bible school.

BUT…in prayer and meditation that is what came through.  And God showed me the depth, the “manliness”, the reality of that phrase, of that element of our catholic faith.

And I have had to focus on this for years;  I, you, we are beloved children of God; loved by God at the core of our being…no need to earn it, win it; can’t be lost either.

SO…no need to prove myself with how much stuff I think I should have….with how I should appear….with how many others should “like” me.   There was freedom in this.  No need to control the universe and all within it to prove myself before others.

This is then the path that helped me through that darkness of depression, into living and being me, being a man, being a priest.

NOW I still slip back into old patterns at times….hence my need to focus, focus, focus on God’s love for me.   This is why prayer has to be a part of my life.

And as I enter into a new phase of my life…it will be even more important;  God will be more important….hummm suppose that is what it is all about.