... love the LORD, your God,
with all your heart,
and with all your soul,
and with all your strength.
Continuing with Crosby, Celibacy, and Miller, Dorothy Day. Halfway through the former, two chapters from finishing the latter.
Today, worship at the Federal Correctional Complex at Lompoc. Three Masses, 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2:30 p.m., with our Capuchin brother from Old Mission Santa Ines, the Catholic chaplain. We were introduced formally to the men during worship, after the homilies.
Emphatically I say: today I did not go to prison: I went to church. All the encroachments of minimum-, low-, and medium-security containment did little, if anything, to divert us from the praise of God; certainly the bars and walls did nothing to prevent the free passage of the Spirit. And what faith I found among the men who are confined in the prison camps. They truly love God with all their heart, all their soul, and all their strength. Deprived of their freedom, families, friends, and fortunes, they still have their heart, soul, and strength, and these they have given gladly, gratefully, to God. Oh, how they pray; and oh, how they sing! They worship the way you ought to, like your soul depended on it. There was nothing affected or pretentious about their worship; it was totally honest, down to earth, and without guile.
It was a spiritual workout for me and my fellow novice brother. Worshipping for several hours without rest is exhausting. I admire our Capuchin brother for his stamina and total outpouring of himself for these congregations behind bars!
We met the supervisory chaplain, who will arrange our Friday visits. We will have conversations with her early this week about the kind of we pastoral care we will offer. God willing, our first Friday at Lompoc will be this Friday.
Now, to a gentle evening, making ready for our class sessions on celibacy this week, with an opportunity for one-on-one conferences with the guest presenter. More on this in the days to come.
Blue skies, few clouds, and warm sun.