We need a rush of the Spirit


Dear Sisters and Brothers,

This coming Sunday is the feast of Pentecost, a word which means “fifty days.”  We’ve been celebrating Easter for that long.

We’ve been trying to wake up to the world around us. Trying to become conscious and aware. Both of our surroundings and what’s going on inside of us — paying attention to our feelings that are indicators of the health of our body / mind / spirit.

I’ve been submerged in writing my in-depth reflection on my life as a priest for forty years while neglecting you all, my blog readers.  I began my 40th year this past Sunday.  And I am very appreciative of these forty years.  If you’d like to read them, they’re a pdf download titled Both Sides Now.

I said in that article” My prayer is looking forward as I reflect on these years: We need a New Pentecost in
the Church these days.  We need to have the windows flung open once again, as
Pope John XXIII did fifty years ago and let the mighty wind of the Holy Spirit shake
us up.  No!  We need a hurricane to blow through us.

We very much need a rekindling of the fire of love in our church, in our country, in our world.

The story of the radical and remarkable transformation that grabbed hold of the first disciples of Jesus is dramatically told in the Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11. I pray for that continued transformation for me as well as my beging my next 40.

For all of you who have been part of my journey at one point or other I say with Dag Hammarskjöld. . . .

For all that has been Thanks,

For all that shall be, Yes!

Come Holy Spirit,

fill the hearts of your faithful

and enkindle in them

the fire of your love

and they shall be created

and you shall renew the face of the earth!

Bob Traupman

priest / writer



Dear Friends,

Jesus is so cool in the images he uses to communicate.

The gospel passage last Sunday Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches.”

Look att the picture above.  It’s not a vine, but every little portion of that bush, every flower, receives its life from being connected to the source of its life.

So, too, with us.  I have some readers who are not professed Christians.  But if you think about it, the message is the same:  If we stay connected to the Source of life, whatever that is, then our lives will flourish and bear fruit.

But some of us are like withered branches.  We have cut ourselves off from the source of life and we do not bring fruitfulness into our lives.  The greatest fruitfulness is our relationships.  Are the people in our lives growing because they know us and are in our lives?  Or are they withering up.

Stay connected.

We want to be connected to the Internet on Facebook and Twitter and all that stuff.

What about your connection with God and his desire that the whole church, indeed the whole world be connected in love.

Jesus, you use simple images to help us understand

what life for us can be like when we stay connected to You.

Wonderful life-surging energy flows through You as the Vine.

Let that same life-surging energy which is Your Holy Spirit

surge through us as well

and renew the face of the earth!

To You be glory now and forever!

Bob Traupman

priest / writer

Being known and loved anyway

an image borrowed from magisteria.files.wordpress.comWith thanks to magisteria.files.wordpress.com

Dear Friends,

We’re half way through the Easter season and this is my favorite part — reflecting on Jesus as the Good Shepherd.  My favorite image of Jesus is the Good Shepherd. It’s the perfect image for us today.  (See Scripture below for your reflection.)

It took me a long time to realize that shepherds walked down the road ahead of their flock.  And the sheep simply followed.  They responded simply to his voice.

What a wonderful model for leadership of any kind.  Not coercing.  Not goading.  Not threatening. Not saying “If you don’t follow, you’re going to hell.”

Jesus simply wants to lead the way.  He wants to BE the way because he walked the path ahead of us.  He knows what human life is about.

And more than that, he says “I know mine and mine know me.”

He’s talking about knowing us personally for who we are inside, who we really are.  He delights in those under his care. He rejoices in us.  He wants to be very close to us.

And he wants us to know him personally and intimately, too.  That’s all.

That’s enough.  For those of us  who know, who realize, that God loves us, lifts us up, supports us, simply wants us to be who we are, that is simply enough.

This is the Jesus I know and love.  Jesus who has invited me into a personal relationship with him and that, because of that, makes all the difference in the way I live and love.

I, too, want to shepherd like that. To be an example to others.  To lead and to know and care for those in my life.

Today’s gospel says theirs a difference between a Good Shepherd and a hired hand who abandons the flock when things get rough.  The Good Shepherd will leave the flock and search for the lost sheep and bring them home.

I love this image of Jesus.  It’s my favorite.  It’s my model of what a priest should be like — or a parent or a teacher or a coach.  As I prepare to celebrate 40 years of service as a priest on May 24th, I just hope that I can continue to be a good shepherd.


many of us have the role of shepherding others.

May we rejoice in that sacred honor and privelege

and do it well, not for profit but for love.

May we never betray that trust.

May we always delight in being cared for by You.

To You be honor and glory and praise!


John 10:11-18

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away–and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.

The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep.

10:14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,

just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.

I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

Bob Traupman

priest / writer