Saturday, February 21, 2009
What Kind of Saint?
The other night, Craig and I went to see On the Waterfront at Grauman's Egyptian Theater. It is a great movie! And my favorite part of the movie was the character of a priest, Father Barry, played by Karl Malden. Early in the movie, Father Barry is trying to comfort Edie (played by Eva Marie Saint) and he says to her, "If you need me, you can find me at the church." And she replies, "What kind of saint hides in a church?"
This is an epiphany for Father Barry that begins a journey in which he leaves the comfort of his church and goes to the docks to see what life is like for his parishioners. He tells Edie "This is my parish. I don't know how much I can do, but I'll never find out unless I come down here and take a good look for myself." (Wouldn't John Wesley be proud?!)
In the absence of an obvious waterfront, how can we clergy quite hiding in church and make our parish among our folks?