deepening and being still

This afternoon I took a break from my ministry to head to west coast groovy sister hq. The Sisters were welcoming a special guest for liturgy and lunch ... our new Arcbhishop. This was the second time I have met Archbishop Sartain. He seems to be a deeply prayerful man, kind and simple in the best way possible. It said volumes for who he is as a pastor to see him with our frail Sisters after lunch, kneeling down to speak one-on-one with them.

Liturgy was memorable. For one thing, the Archbishop's homily was what I needed to hear in the midst of my busy-ness. He remarked that many people might be surprised to hear that women religious and clergy are busy. "Some might think we just sit around until Sunday!" He recognized the reality of our busy schedules, but invited us to go into the deep, to be still, and to find our root in Jesus who is everything. He of course said all that much more eloquently, but that I think was the core message.

The other reason liturgy was memorable was on account of what was happening outside. Our chapel at St. Mary-on-the-Lake, as the name implies, looks out on Lake Washington. We sometimes have other special visitors on our grounds, namely eagles. You can occasionally hear their cries and see them perched in the high reaches of the magnificent evergreens.

This morning however, just as the Archbishop was beginning the Eucharistic prayer, one of our feathered friends swooped down from the sky and perched on the top of a tree near the water. Sitting very still, he or she sat there, on top of the tree, through the rest of the liturgy. From our perspective, it appeared as if the bird was looking directly into the Chapel. At the close of liturgy, I saw a number of the Sisters urge the Archbishop to the window to see the bird, still perching high on the top of the tree.

All in all, it was a nice break from my day. I'm glad I was able to break away from the office and join our Sisters in welcoming our new Archbishop for what I hope was the first of many visits.

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