Friends are rare and precious. I am so thankful for so many I count as friends. New Covenant is truly a friend-filled place!
Here are a couple of my other friends.
FR. BURNET CHERISOL
This Sunday I want to introduce to you all a new friend of the past couple years. Father Burnet Cherisol is the recently installed Episcopal Vicar of
Anglican Mission Haiti. A couple weeks ago I shared the story of our time there in a bit more detail in a midweek epistle entitled, Haiti And Back. Sheryl Shaw, Fr. Gabriel and I, along with Bishop Kevin Donlon, went to Port au Prince for Fr. Burnet's installation and to do Confirmations, Receptions, and Received a couple of priests into the new Mission.
Burnet was a seminary professor in Haiti and is a well-known personality there. The times we have been with him there, people regularly stop to greet him. And when he is with you at the airport, even the security people give him a nod and let you pass. You will like him! He will be with us
FR. BRENNAN MANNING
We became friends in the mid 80s. We use to walk the French Quarter stopping at every gelato and ice cream parlor, finishing the day with some fresh beignets.
Here's a wonderful Christmas story from a blog Brennan wrote in 2012. He checked into the heavenly Jerusalem in April the next year.
The Enchanted One
The Ship Wrecked at the Stable
There is a beautiful story recounted every Christmas in the forests of Provence in southern France. It's about the four shepherds who came to Bethlehem to see the child. One brought eggs, another bread and cheese, the third brought wine. And the fourth brought nothing at all. People called him L'Enchanté.
The first three shepherds chatted with Mary and Joseph, commenting on how well Mary looked, how cozy was the cave and how handsomely Joseph had appointed it, what a beautiful starlit night it was. They congratulated the proud parents, presented them with their gifts and assured them that if they needed anything else, they had only to ask.
Finally someone asked, "Where is L'Enchanté?" They searched high and low, up and down, inside and out. Finally, someone peeked through the blanket hung against the draft, into the crèche. There, kneeling at the crib, was L'Enchanté - the Enchanted One.
Like a flag or a flame taking the direction of the wind, he had taken the direction of love. Throughout the entire night, he stayed in adoration, whispering, "Jesu, Jesu, Jesu - Jesus, Jesus, Jesus."
Yes! As the chorus goes, "What a friend we have in Jesus..." And when Jesus is in our friends, well, we experience the incarnation in every greeting!