When I was a Political Science major at the University of New Hampshire, I was particularly interested in issues affecting Central America. One of the political figures I admired most was Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador, who spoke out against the injustices and human rights abuses in El Salvador -- and who was assassinated in 1980 while he was celebrating mass.
Yesterday, I was happy to learn of his beatification ceremony, and pleased that this brave man was being honored and remembered. I am not Catholic, but I was moved by the images from the ceremony in San Salvador.
I was ashamed to realize that as the years passed since college, I had forgotten some of my early heroes such as Archbishop Romero. In fact, during my college years, the words and deeds of these people led me to contemplate a call to ministry -- a call I stashed in the back pocket of my mind.
"He is not a distant God – transcendent, yes, infinite,
but a God close at hand here on earth."
Archbishop Oscar Romero (1917-1980)
Two university degrees and years of freelance writing later, that familiar stirring of the spirit from years ago has returned. I sat quietly in our garden this Pentecost Sunday afternoon, letting my mind become still as I watched the beauty of the day come forward. When I released the busy-ness and put away the to-do list, I heard and saw more and more sounds and sights that I had taken for granted:
Sometimes it was the rustling of the breeze or the splashes of light in the leaves
Or underfoot in brilliantly colored ground covers
Like an old friend, I am becoming reacquainted with this calling. I have many questions. Has my calling changed over the years? What does it want to tell me?
"But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you everything,
and remind you of all that I have said to you."
John 14:26 (NSRV)
Pentecost Sunday reminds me of the constant presence of the Holy Spirit. An afternoon sitting still in the garden reminds me that the Spirit is always near, if I take the time to listen and look. I am grateful this day for the reminder of heroes, old friends and new adventures.