Thursday, September 08, 2011

The Work Begins....

Lord our God,

You have chosen your servant Charles to be a shepherd of your flock in the tradition of the apostles.

Give him a spirit of courage and right judgment, a spirit of knowledge and love.

By governing with fidelity those entrusted to his care, may he build the Church of Philadelphia as a sign of salvation for the world.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

--Prayer for the Bishop

Roman Ritual
...and, in a special way, let this local church say "Amen."

* * *
At this Midnight hour on Installation Day, a light literally shines in vigil over the Chair of St John Neumann, and in a first, the whole world is able to see it.

In a word, the visual is perfect to the moment... because in a way it hadn't been before, for a long time, a sense of Light really does feel sparked again in this place, even if it's simply the hope that comes with a new beginning and the chance for a fresh start.

Indeed, Phils fans, this is the day the Lord has made -- and made for us. Still, youse better not try rejoicing just yet.

God willing, we'll be able to do that one day. Before we can even think of it, though, to a degree we've not known 'round here in a good while, a great work awaits us: a renewal of fidelity and mission among our own that will demand more courage and openness, more faith and more heart than anything that, as a people, we who live in this season of the journey have ever been called to undertake.

And so, at long, blessed last, guided by a tremendously gifted new shepherd yet filled with the same Spirit Who lifts us onward in every age, today it all begins -- so let's do it.

Lord God, grant us each and all the grace to bring Your promise for this church in our time to fulfillment....

Saints Katharine Drexel and John Neumann, pray for us.