Sunday, January 25, 2009


I came over here to try to be of service as a Chaplain to those in service to the United States of America. It feeds my soul to be able to do this, despite the physical toll of starting out on this journey accompanied by arthritis, patellar tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and having really mangled an ankle during Chaplain Basic Training.

Today was a great example of this: One Soldier showed up in my office to ask whether he could receive Holy Communion. He lives on a post that has never been visited by a priest since he's been Down Range; I'd never seen him before.

After we prayed, and he received Communion, he turned to leave. Somewhat sheepishly he turned around and asked if I were busy. I replied, "Not too busy for you, Sir." He then asked if I'd be able to do the Sacrament of Reconciliation with him. I grabbed my cover (my boonie cap) so we could walk outside, seeing as there's no privacy in my office.

As we began, he smiled and said, "Maybe I should have reversed the order of these requests."

I laughed and told him what my SCUBA buddy Brian once told me, "God doesn't understand time." (Very profound spiritual truth, that. God is so big that God exists beyond time, such that the whole of human history is but the same instant for God....)

Afterward, this Soldier (almost my age, but more than a couple of pay grades about me; he's at least made something of himself!) had tears of gratitude in his eyes, and couldn't stop thanking me for having been there for him.

This is why I came over here.

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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Anonymous said...


1776 said...

good story.

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