St James the Greater in prayer
I can't let this day pass without mentioning the great St James whose feast it is. Every year as I celebrate this feast I wish I was at his Shrine in Spain, having walked the Camino. For the past few years I have been plotting with some friends of mine to take five weeks and walk the pilgrim way. Of course that is not possible at the moment - it would be difficult to get the time off, but perhaps in a few years should I ever be fortunate enough to get a Sabbatical.
In the meantime we ask his prayers and reflect on his life and teaching. A son of thunder, as Jesus called him, James was no shrinking violet, he was ambitious, but his ambition was not ordered correctly. The Lord had to chasten his heart, but once that process was complete, James, now humble Apostle of the Lord, was happy to renounce his life for Christ's sake, becoming the first of the Apostles to be martyred.
So when I reflect on the example of St James I see that my own heart must be chasten, my will oriented towards the Lord's, and that at times the Lord may employ things and events which may seem distasteful and difficult to help the process of transformation. When this happens (and it will for those committed to living a life of virtue and seeking holiness) we take comfort in the presence of the Lord and the example of those who have gone before us, like St James.
Today is my parents' 49th wedding anniversary, could you please say a prayer for them? Happy feast day.