A Eulogy to Brennan Manning ~ A
Brennan Manning*, April 27th 1934 ~ April 12th 2013 ... Reflections upon a gifted and fractured priest too familiar with the tragedies of living.
Brennan Manning was much more gentle than I am. I loved how he always tried to move everyone around him toward being better people. Manning saw faith in God as something real to be lived out, rather than a set of written behavioral guidelines to follow. He was aware of his own frailities, but understood his problems didn’t exclude him from the Kingdom. Brennan recognized that he was put here on earth – that we are ALL put here on earth – to be agents of grace, even amidst our sin and struggles.
When I turned 40, he shared a profound thought with me– that most people stop growing spiritually before their 40th birthday. Most guys are who they are by the time they reach middle age. So he challenged me to be a better human being by the time I was 50, and to not be satisfied with “just being okay” in my spiritual walk.#
Manning dwelt upon the streets of pain knowing the warehouses and the whorehouses of life. He viewed countless days through the indistinct grey of a bottle's thick base. While enslaved by the demon drink he liberated a generation who were humble and needy enough to pursue his tortured thoughtfulness.
Manning made Christian history, for this unusual drunk left a legacy of sobriety to the pained, painted on history's walls by a tear stained grace.
Next time you feel too frail, too foolish or too fearful to act, remember the broken priest from New Orleans who splashed liquor on pavements but love on paper.
I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. (Matt 25:40)
Today's Soul Snippet:
"Grace will always be a banana peel to the orthodox foot and a fairy-tale to grown-up sensibility." ~ Brennan Manning
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* Brennan Manning spoke to me both across the waves and through time. His books I devoured and his thinking I thirsted for.