A Divine and Continuous Silence:

Celebrating Father Míceál Beatty’s Twenty Years as a priest

St. Paul says in the first reading, “life to me is not a thing to waste words on, provided that when I finish my race, I have carried out the mission the lord Jesus gave me – and that was to bear witness to the Good News of God’s grace.” And St. Jose Maria Escriva says this of young men who are to be ordained priests, “They are being ordained to serve. They are not being ordained to give orders or to attract attention, but rather to give themselves to the service of all souls in a divine and continuous silence.” 

A divine and continuous silence; a life of words not wasted! What a beautiful thing that is! A divine and continuous silence that is focused on God and the service of His people.

This is the Mission that we honour, the divine and continuous silence in which we ourselves are hidden, particularly in Jesus in the Eucharist, the silence from which the Word of God is spoken and God is revealed; the silence in which all our speech is formed and sanctified. And the goal is that we lead people to the Eternal Life in which is to know the only Ture God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. This is what matters most, that we have a genuine encounter with and experience of God.

A week ago, today we attended the annual clergy conference for the priests of this diocese. It dealt mostly with the health of priests – mental, physical, spiritual – encouraging us to be well so that we are better able to look after the community entrusted to our care. The question that struck a chord with me is this, “what is it that sustains you and gives you joy?” Something like that. I would also ask, “who is it that sustains me and gives me joy in my life as a priest?” The first answer is Jesus. It is He who sustains us but we are also sustained by others and the second answer to that question for me personally is Father Míceál. Even though we are celebrating twenty years of his life as a priest, he would not want this to be about him but something of him must be said, something that is a Magnificat in praise of what God has done in his life so far, what Míceál has allowed God to do in him.

Perhaps because he is my nearest neighbour, Míceál has become for me a brother priest, a confessor and a kind, kind friend whose door is always open to me. We are very different but I find in him great acceptance and he brings great joy and laughter into my life. To be with him is to experience Good News.

And my prayer for you Míceál is that the joy of the Lord will be your strength, that the prophecy of Zephaniah 3 be fulfilled in you where it is said of God, “He will renew you with His love and He will dance with shouts of joy because of you as on a day of festival.”

It is my prayer for all of us who are gathered here in prayer, we who are “one Body one Spirit in Christ” – that we be sustained by each other and by the joy of the Lord. Amen!

Eamonn Monson SAC
Tuesday of the Seventh Week after Easter
Readings: Acts 20:17-27. John 17:1-11

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