Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Hits and Misses of 2014: These Stone Walls

Well, Dear Reader:

Father Gordon MacRae, one of my favourite Roman Catholic Priests has released the The Hits and Misses of 2014 from These Stone Walls, the blog he writes as a priest falsely imprisoned in the New Hampshire State Prison for Men.

For readers of TSW, and there are many faithful ones out there, it is a summary review particularly of the best that has happened in a prison for men filled to double its capacity with men who have run afoul of the law (or not).  These men are our brothers, who by dint of circumstance of birth, family, genetics, and/or environment have taken a path less chosen, and one that we might have taken ourselves except for our own particular circumstances.

But I have noticed as time passes, and as the Consecration that Father Gordon, Pornchai and others made to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary takes deeper hold of their spirits, the hits keep getting better, and the misses though sad, are in fact hits on God's Hit Parade, since He ultimately is in charge.

You must read the post linked above, I beg you.  Spend some time looking at the photographs, of Pornchai and his foster family, (and also Father Gordon) who were reunited with him this year, by the Grace of God.  Look also at Michael Ciresi united with his children, and their mother at the family celebration inside the prison for Christmas.  Then do what Catholics do when they see an icon.  Pray for all these folks, that God will continue to Bless them and fill them with His Holy Spirit, that their lives, to a one, will glorify Him and praise Him on earth and in heaven one day.

Michael, I pray that our mutual patron saint, Saint Michael the Archangel, will defend you in the day of battle, be your safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil, and may God rebuke the devil, I humbly pray, and may Saint Michael the prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of your soul and the souls of all your loved ones.

We read of Jesse Pickard, at age 27, soon to be released from prison, and pray that the graces imparted upon him by the hands of Father Gordon and the other men of faith there, as it so pleases the Father will sustain him as he works to make a life for himself outside These Stone Walls.

We read also of the overall Miss, which is really a Hit, that is the ongoing attempts to achieve justice for Father Gordon.  Of course, it is a miss.  But Father Gordon has become a much stronger priest inside prison than he could have been outside prison, and all readers of TSW have benefited, though the most important benefits are realized by the men there with him, whether they know it or not.

Don't let the shiny dome in the picture in the linked post fool you.  When you see the face of Father Gordon you are seeing the face of Christ.  Father Gordon is showing us how to be Christ for each other from very difficult circumstances.  Didn't Jesus do that for us over 2000 years ago?

It is a worthy read, but the redoubtable Father Gordon has missed one hit, to which I have just alluded.  The real hit inside These Stone Walls is its author himself.  God has chosen Father Gordon to be a witness to the truth in the midst of deception and lies.  He has shown mercy where mercy is not warranted by actions, but by the image in which his fellow inmates were created, the image of God.

So, my vote for the Hit of 2014 is Father Gordon J. MacRae.

Remember him and all the men in this particular prison, and all people imprisoned throughout the world in your prayers as we end 2014 and in 2015.  Sometimes a prayer is all they have.

1 comment:

LaVern said...

Thank you, Michael. You have captured the "real" Fr. Gordon, at least as I know him. You do an excellent job of bringing out highlights of Fr. Gordon on TSW.

I have been corresponding with Fr. Gordon for nine years--pre TSW Blog. (How that happened is a whole story in itself.) I have only had the privilege to visit with him one time for a few hours. But the spiritual growth of Father is so self evident in his letters and chats. Being his friend has been a GREAT blessing for me. God has been so good to make this friendship possible, and through it lead me into a ministry to priest prisoners and assistance to other accused priests.