As I kissed the stole before putting it on Saturday evening I was filled with a flurry of memories connected to the times that I wore that chasuble in the past.
The memories lasted but a brief moment, and it seemed to be a timeless moment, as people and events came rushing back to me.
It was truly a bitter-sweet moment; sweet because of the joys associated with many of these memories, and bitter both because I did not have time then to prayerfully remember these people and events and because the recollection of the past is always somewhat bitter.
Later that evening I thought I might do a photo post of some of the times I have worn this chasuble (I don't have pictures from each of the Masses).
At the Easter Vigil two years ago when I had the pleasure of receiving a woman into the Church:
With one of the first communicants two years ago:
Chatting with one of my students who guessed - rightly - that I was being transferred before the Mass when I made the announcement:
Delivering the news of my first pastorate:
At the Easter Vigil last year in Virden:
I thought, too, of a generous couple - whom I have yet to meet in person - who contributed toward the cost of the chasuble.
Even as I am filled with gratitude for the people, places and celebrations now associated with this chasuble, I cannot help but wonder who and what else will come to be associated with it.
That moment as I kissed the stole was a clear and moving reminder of how we are all bound together in the Lord, especially when gathered around his altar, no matter how great the physical distances that separate us.