Bishop Stika was the guest this past week on Hallerin Hilton Hill’s interview program Anything Is Possible this past week. I was most struck when the bishop said that he could not imagine his life as a bishop or a priest without prayer. Hallerin told His Excellency that “your face lights up” at the mention of prayer. I don’t disagree with that assessment at all, and I think that is one of the many overt things that we can look at as signs that we have a holy bishop. He lives a life of prayer despite his busy schedule and the administrative demands of this diocese.
I don’t think that a great many of our evangelical neighbors can ever fully understand the nature of the truly lived Catholic life because it is a sacramental life, and so many of our brothers and sisters who attend non-Catholic ecclesial communities in East Tennessee are not used to a sacramental spirituality, but the most prominent of our spiritual leaders showing himself to be a real person with real interests and a “real life,” while still clearly showing that he does all this while having a relationship with the Lord in prayer that is very much alive certainly helps break down the barriers of understanding that often exist for us as Catholics in East Tennessee.
At on point, Bishop Stika describes the reality that he says or prays the Liturgy of the Hours every day, and explains to Hallerin Hill that it is required of clergy…Hallerin asks him to “say one of them,” and he explains that “it is a big book.” For the benefit of Hallerin Hill and anyone else who may be reading this, one of the volumes of the Liturgy of the Hours is pictured on the left, and within this text are links to quality sites which have the entire Liturgy of the Hours for every day of the year for you to pray.
And if you haven’t seen it yet, the bishop’s Anything is Possible interview is well worth the watch.