A member of the church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the pastor decided to visit him.
It was a chilly evening. The pastor found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for his pastor’s visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited.
The pastor made himself at home but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs. After some minutes, the pastor took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone then he sat back in his chair, still silent.
The host watched all this in quiet contemplation. As the one lone ember’s flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and dead.
Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting. The pastor glanced at his watch and realized it was time to leave. He slowly stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow, once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.
As the pastor reached the door to leave, his host said with a tear running down his cheek, ‘Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I will be back in church next Sunday.We live in a world today, which tries to say too much with too little. Consequently, few listen. Sometimes the best sermons are the ones left unspoken.
This article came from a Facebook Post by Fr. Joe Codori. He gave me permission to print it.
I read this and thought, “this is just the message I needed to hear today.” I have been in such a tremendous funk lately. I just didn’t want to leave my house, I stayed home from Mass the last two Sundays. . .why is that??? I don’t know, but I’m asking God for help in discerning what is happening.
Sometimes I just don’t want to be around people. . .I’m really an introvert at heart, but I had to learn to be an extrovert when raising my children. It’s a difficult thing to do and I know that I am not the only person who has ever had to do this. I just like being in a quiet, alone place for spaces of time.
I have good friends that I love with all my heart and even those loved friends I need to be away from for a piece of time. Perhaps it is the same with the God of my heart who I love even more. . .
I’m workin’ on it. . .I’ll be back to myself or “from” myself in time.
By the way. . .this homily above is just what St. Francis of Assisi talked about. . .he said, “Preach the Gospel and when necessary, use words!” I just love that!!!
May you be blessed and be a blessing!
Sandy Ozanich (c) January 8, 2014