My brother's ordination last night was amaaaaazing. A-ma-zing. As it began I fell in love with the Catholic Church all over again. (I didn't know it was possible to love it any more than I already did.) The huge, gorgeous church with a marble altar and veiled tabernacle, the packed pews, the thundering choir, the incense, the Latin, the candles, and the looooong (and I mean LONG) procession of robed priests accompanying my brother (and theirs) to his destiny.
He sat on a chair in front of us, his family. My little brother seemed older. Wiser.
The priests recommended him to the Bishop, finding him "worthy." Then, the moment when I lost it. My brother laid prostrate on the floor, giving his life for the Church. I cried from the depths of myself as I saw him, face down in front of the entire assembly.
We prayed the litany of the Saints, asking the holy ones in Heaven to pray with us, and for us. All of Heaven joined in our prayers that night, here on earth. You could just feel it. The Bishop laid his hands on my brother and he was ordained to the order of the priesthood. The numerous robed men around him embraced him in fraternal love, welcoming him to their ranks. And then he took his seat among them on the altar.
His chair near us was now empty, and yet my heart was full because I knew he was home. After the Mass, I received his blessing. I knelt down before Father Ryan and he prayed over me. Words cannot describe all that took place in my heart at that moment: the memories I had of him as a young boy now coupled with the reality of his call... how I cared for him as a child and now I knelt before him as Father.
I gave glory and praise to God for the gift of him. And as his vocation unfolds I will continue to do so. Thanks to all of you for your love and support along the way. Please continue to pray for him, as the real journey has only just begun.