Family Letter: On the Long Winding Road

“It beatitudes which give blessings to us who live with the poor, show mercy, make peace, hunger of justice, I was called to live in vulnerability I am accepting persecution as a blessing. Not a mindless “ consumer” leaving a singular selfish life toward community leaving my arrogance and showing how I am totally dependent on God. This was a call to a life time of more than conventional Catholicism and opened my eyes to desperate need and justice, seeing this one hurt another hungry, an other desperate, and I responded with what I had. It meant poor in jail – a most unpopular place for the un-poor. I saw that living by the Gospel flies by the teeth of the North American obsession in proper, a sickness; a social disease.” Father David Kirk

Seeking Truth on the Banks of Mississippi

I was blessed with an older brother who was a dreamer like me who kept telling me again and again, read, read, read, and listen to others who can add to your knowledge, learn, learn, and be open.  I don’t know how it could happen, but in a little used bookstore in Elaine, Arkansas, I found 2 small books, one by then V.P. Henry Wallace on socialism and singer/actor Paul Robeson on racism and genocide. Obviously, nobody on the river was going to be buying these 2 books and I negotiated for the two at a dime each.  I stayed up all night reading them both.  I was excited.  I was so excited.  It’s like I had been living in a world of darkness and suddenly a little light hit on me.  I would find this experience would happen again and again in my life.  A little more light cracking through the door, a little more light cracking through the door, a little piece of truth.  From now on, I knew I was to become a seeker of truth, even though I had yet to meet the Spirit of Truth. I found a field, oh, my, with pearls of great price and my task was to dig for the truth.  But something told me: this is dangerous, you are alone, and this must be a secret journey.” Father David Kirk

Seeking Truth on the Banks of Mississippi

“All through my boyhood, I must say I loved the South in certain ways: the easygoing life, my mother’s deep sense of hospitality to others which led to my own natural sense, the sounds of things – like a swinging screen door or rain on the tin roof of a small porch where I slept.  The smells of collard greens or fresh butter churned.  The Huckleberry Finn moments on the River.  All these years I was dreaming and it was always this: That one day I was going to leave these towns which were becoming painful to me, and I was going to travel to a great Golden City, where I could see everything and do everything’s.  And in this Golden City I world find a heroic brotherhood or community who would be risking their lives for humanity or truth.” Father David Kirk

History of Emmaus as a Melkite Ministry

“I was lonely in Mobile for brothers who shared the same radical vision of the gospel. I was about to accept a teaching job, get married and buy a car.  But the Gospel stuck like a grape in my throat.  In one day I left my family, I left everthing had caught a train to New York.  I got off the train with $10 in my pocket and there happened to be a Catholic Worker selling papers at the station. He took me home to Dorothy.” Father David Kirk

Feast of Christmas 2005

“They continue to come to us with burdens too heavy – What are we to do?  Just as important, what are you to do?  St. James has told you and us very clearly what we must do –  “Suppose a brother or sister in rags, searching for their next meal and you say, ‘good luck, – God Bless you and keep yourself warm.’  “If we do nothing about it to supply their needs for basic food and clothing what are we good for?” (James 11:15) Father David Kirk

40 Years and Counting

“In the midst of much suffering we have been hard pressed, struck down again and again, but we have never been crushed as St. Paul says; “Some how I have and unquenchable faith, enough faith, enough hope, when so many feel hopeless, enough bread to feed all who come, enough Eucharist to sustain us.” Father David Kirk

Letter to Archbishop Elya

“I will not be retiring, ever.  That would break my covenant with God and the poor, which no man could ask of me.  None the less, I have faced the reality of my limitations due to kidney failure; even if I’m on a walker, I can still be a Christian presence among the abandoned, teaching, praying, even licking envelopes.” Father David Kirk (1-5-01)

Letter to Archbishop Elya

“Let us rise up at this important moment to being the brotherhood of love which the church is, opening to listening and sharing for the good of the church, for the good of humanity.” Father David Kirk (1-5-01)

Letter to Archbishop Herman

“I have put my hand to the plow and never looked back.  When I was eighteen, baptized in Christ and confirmed in the Holy Spirit, it was a beginning of a spiritual adventure for a half century.” Father David Kirk (Feast of St. Xenia)

Letter to Archbishop Herman

“Even though I am weak, I know that God is strong.” Father David Kirk (Feast of St. Xenia)

Letter to Archbishop Herman

“More than a year ago when I had great hope for an early recovery, but my expectation are not necessarily those of God.  I have deteriorated in a way not expected.  I can no longer walk; I can stand for about thirty seconds.  I have great difficulty swallowing food, my vision impaired.  I have great hope, the gates of the Kingdom of God which were bolted during this time in the desert.  I could not work but love has been shone to me by Orthodox Christian brothers and sisters. There is much I cannot do.  I hunger for God and the Liturgy, but I can sit by the living waters are overflowing and, in a way, I sit under the shadow of Christ, I have been fed by so many.” Father David Kirk (Lent 2006)

Thank You Letter

“This is a very reflective time in my life which makes me be thankful for all things, beautiful or sad, all that I have seen, heard, received.  Thankful for all the welcoming roads that have lead me to deep truths and truthful people.  Thankful, as I have to do so much sitting with my illnesses, for the winter wind that caresses my face and for the trees that nod to me at my window.  Maybe God lets us be a little disabled so that we may see more deeply so much that we once walked by.  Which means to thank the Lord for always being there and you personally for being there for us.” Father David Kirk (January 2004)