Mad for…Msgr. Laughlin

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore, I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone. –Thomas Merton

Day 71 of 365.

Meet Msgr Laughlin. He’s a retired priest with family in the area and he often presides at daily masses at nearby Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. This morning was such an occasion. He spoke to us this morning about prayer, and he referred at some length to the famous Thomas Merton prayer I’ve shared above. I have always found it incredibly comforting, and in fact I had it displayed for several years on my fridge.

I am told the Msgr. is in his mid 90s. This fact blows my mind, mostly because he’s so incredibly coherent and filled with such wisdom that nearly every time he is there saying mass I end up digging for my phone to quickly jot down something he said. I’ve more than once gone into the adoration chapel and found him kneeling in prayer there. Let’s be honest, the chances of many of us being physically able to do either of those things in our mid-nineties is slim to none, am I right? He’s quite clearly a holy and prayerful man, and I feel grateful he has chosen central Indiana as the place he is spending his retirement.

Some time ago, he shared a sentiment similar to the one above written by Merton that settled on me in a meaningful way. It went something like this. If someone trustworthy tells you a movie is terrific, hard to watch at moments but just has a great ending and to stick it out…you would, right? It’s the same attitude we need with God. He has a plan for us, he’s worthy of our trust. If we stay with Him, it all ends well. Beautiful truth, spoken simply.

Today’s gospel message about the importance of praying to glorify God and trusting Him with our lives struck me as incredibly filled with wisdom and meaning. So, this man of God, well into his retirement years, is STILL the face of Christ to others by his witness and his words. Thank you, Lord, for Msgr. Laughlin and all your holy priests!! I am so grateful for them, every single one.

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