Father Ysrael’s First Blessing after his ordination.
Father Ysrael was ordained priest in 2010 to serve the people of Portland. It’s always joy to greet your biological father a happy birthday and its a special joy to greet your spiritual father the same wishes.
Father continues to inspire my vocation. In my last visit to Portland we were able to have dinner and once again hear the stories of all the joys of priesthood. HAPPY AND GRACE FILLED BIRTHDAY TO YOU, Father Ysrael. May God continue to bless your ministry and those you serve. Thank you for helping me aspire to know God through your friendship.
The following is a quote by Karl Rahner reminds me of the great mystery of God and how one can simply love God in this life of gratitude. Father Ysrael Bien shared this quote with me a few years ago:
“Only in love can I find you, my God. In love the gates of my soul spring open, allowing me to breathe a new air of freedom and forget my own petty self. In love my whole being streams forth out of the rigid confines of narrowness and anxious self-assertion, which make me a prisoner of my own poverty and emptiness. In love all the powers of my soul flow out toward you, wanting never more to return, but to lose themselves completely in you, since by your love you are the inmost center of my heart, closer to me than I am to myself.
But when I love you, when I manage to break out of the narrow circle of self and leave behind the restless agony of unanswered questions, when my blinded eyes no longer look merely from afar and from the outside upon your unapproachable brightness, and much more when you yourself, O Incomprehensible One, have become through love the inmost center of my life, then I can bury myself entirely in you, O mysterious God, and with myself all my questions.”