A shepherd and a bear

Silas Henderson
The fourth Sunday of Easter, Good Shepherd Sunday, is an opportunity to focus on the pastoral work of the Church. In this article, Silas Henderson considers pastoral responsibility and the person of St Anselm of Canterbury. The author is managing editor of Abbey Press Publications, St Meinrad Archabbey, Indiana.

For several years, a story has circulated about a text said to be inscribed on the tomb of a bishop buried in Westminster Abbey. It is supposed to read:

When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world.

As I grew older, and wiser, I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country. But it, too, seemed immovable.

As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it.

And now, as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realized:

If I had only changed myself first, then by example, I would have changed my family.

From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country, and who knows, I may have even changed the world.
For those in ministry, especially for those entrusted with the care of souls, there is a tendency to focus on the fruits of our service

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