Tante Corrie Knows


The Readings for Tuesday in the th Week of Easter (B2)

Sed nihil horum vereor : nec facio animam meam pretiosiorem quam me, dummodo consummem cursum meum, et ministerium verbi, quod accepi a Domino Jesu, testificari Evangelium gratiae Dei.
But I fear none of these things, neither do I count my life more precious than myself, so that I may consummate my course and the ministry of the word which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. 

Paul will say several things like this in his Epistles. I have only one thing to do… this is it and everything else is only so much dung. I don’t know how to live like that. Because in the few times I’ve been laid off or come to the end of a housing arrangement, I’ve been terrified. Yes, I’ve made sudden changes and always survived, but only by grasping at enough straws until I mixed a metaphor and built a house out of them.

I’ve been reading Corrie Ten Boom’s second book and wondering how it is that I could find myself a Tramp for the Lord, wandering the world trusting that my next step will be 100% safe so long as I am trusting God’s plans and not my own. Of course, I’d have to give up planning to do that. Corrie’s life – after the Nazi Concentration Camp – is filled with stories of landing in a strange city and meeting a random stranger who opens a whole new world of God’s grace for the spinster Tante from Holland. I pray every day for this faith: not faith that “can move mountains” but rather can move me from my own fear and isolation. 

Corrie says that when one has gotten on a train, if the train goes through a long tunnel, one does not not jump off the train just because one is afraid of the dark. One trusts the engineer to keep things moving along. Can one walk into the world, by faith – not by sight – and just do whatever it is God has planed? It seems to me that a single man “of a certain age” who will not be getting married must have something to do, yet. But what will “finishing my course” look like? How can I best be that person?

Author: Huw Raphael

A Dominican Tertiary living in San Francisco, CA. He is almost 59. He feeds the homeless as a parochial almoner and is studying to be a Roman Catholic Deacon. He is learning modern Israeli Hebrew and enjoys cooking, keto, cats, long urban hikes, and SF Beer Week.

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