Beliefnet
How Great Thou Part

When people hear my uncle was a priest they assume I led a life influenced by biblical formality. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

My uncle was not a man to preach, that is of course unless he was standing on the altar. I like to say my uncle was an ordinary guy from Brooklyn who happened to be a priest.

332191_2272189240708_1422157_o (1)My uncle did not feel the need to convince or convert others. His actions spoke the words instead. He simply lived a life of love and beauty and of touching people. He did not think he was better because he wore a collar. He did not think he was perfect. He just felt he was called to illuminate his passion for the Catholic faith and to serve.

My memories are not of my uncle instructing me how to live.

My memories are how he lived his life. He did not quote scripture. He lived the scripture.

He was content to know I was devout in my faith allowing for the mistakes I would most certainly make in life.

And mistakes I have made.

Not long ago, I worried over a lunch with girlfriends. In particular, that my children have had to endure said mistakes.

“Why don’t you stop worrying about your kids and go back to being the leader you have always been,” said my  friend “Then your children will be fine.”

Of course, I knew she was right. I had started preaching to my children all the time, not just the occasional sermon. I was trying to overcorrect my marital missteps. Somehow thinking if I talked enough I could convert them. Keep them from making the same mistakes.

I was foolishly instructing them how to live life. 

My actions needed to speak the words instead.

It was time to return to “living by leading.”

To have faith in the overall example I set rather than my mistakes. Just like a humble guy I knew from Brooklyn who with or without the collar was the greatest man I have ever known.

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