This quote hangs above my desk. Call it an affirmation, if you like, a kind of new millenium creed.
'I still believe in the power of the priesthood, where sinful men are helped by sinful men. I believe in an authority that stoops to wash a poor man's feet. I believe in a banquet where sinners learn to love, eating in the company of their God. I believe in parents who teach their children the beauty that is life. I believe in words that God has left for man, words that can fashion hope from darkness and turn bitter loneliness into love. And I believe in man fashioned in mystery by God. I believe in the beauty of his mind, the force of his emotions, the fire and loyalty of his love. I know his weakness, his cowardice, his treachery, his hate. But I believe in him and his thirst for acceptance and love.
'Most of all I believe in God and the power of his victory in Christ. I believe in a Resurrection that rescued man from death. I believe in an Easter that opened man to hope. I believe in a joy that no threat of man can take away. I believe in a peace that I know in fleeting moments and seek with boldness born of God. I believe in a life that lingers after this, a life that God has fashioned for His friends.
'I believe in understanding, in forgiveness, in mercy, in faith. I believe in man's love for woman, and hers for him, and in the fervour of this exchange, I hear the voice of God. I believe in friendhsip and its power to turn selfishness to love. I believe in eternity and the hope that it affords.'
Father James Kavanagh
A Modern Priest Looks at his Outdated Church