Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Deacon’s World One of Intimacy
By Deacon Dennis Nash
Like all the Sacraments, ordination conveys grace. It is not a onetime gift of grace, but a grace that flows constantly from God. I sense it daily as I meet Christ in the faces of the people that I encounter. These encounters with Christ are not fleeting, but rather deeply intimate.
I have prayed with families around the bed of a dying relative. I have shared in the joy of new life at a child’s baptism. I have brought the peace and comfort of God and his church to those who mourned the loss of a loved one. I have brought friendship and a connection with the church to the sick and homebound. Because of people’s willingness to open themselves to me, I have shared in joys and sorrows woven into their lives. As a deacon, I stand as a symbol that the whole church is present; indeed, that God is with them, whatever their circumstance might be.
The trust of people who seek my guidance and assurance that God is with them humbles me. Sometimes they come with questions, and I pray that they may find God in whatever they need. I pray for the courage to speak the truth when, like them, I do not have the answer. I pray for the wisdom to let God use me as a conduit. I remind myself that my ministry is not about me, but about the people I serve, and that sometimes I just need to get out of God’s way.
My ministry of presence as a deacon goes beyond my parish. It carries into the workplace. People I have worked with for years, upon learning that I am a deacon, have approached me the way people do at church. They seek answers, look for reasons and try to understand where God is in their lives. As often as this happens, I still am surprised when God shows up at work. It is a special joy when I can enable people that I work with to find God in their daily life.
Ordination has gifted my marriage as well. My wife and I have grown closer as a result of the formation and education that we received in preparation for ordination. We’ve reached a new level of intimacy as we discover the joy in taking time to pray together daily.
I pray to be faithful to the words of Archbishop Joseph Kurtz when he presented me the Book of Gospels 11 months ago: to believe what I read, to teach what I believe, and to practice what I teach. Ordination has so immersed me into life that I now witness God’s presence in many ways and feel him in every aspect and moment of my life.
Dennis Nash is a deacon for the Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky, and district manager for United Rental Company.