"Our life is over like a sigh. Our span is seventy years or eighty for those who are strong. And most of these are emptiness and pain. They pass swiftly and we are gone. Who understands the power of your anger and fears the strength of your fury? Make us know the shortness of our life that we may gain wisdom of heart."Indeed, may we know the passing nature of this life and turn to Christ, who is the wisdom of God and who endured God's wrath on our behalf, and live.
After initially posting this, I read an item posted by Deacon Greg over on The Deacon's Bench about the death last week of Paul Weyrich, a fellow Catholic deacon, albeit not a Roman Catholic deacon. May his memory be eternal.
As to the issue of addressing deacons in the Eastern churches brought up by Deacon Keith Fournier in his remembrance of Weyrich, my Syriac priest friend calls me Father Deacon Scott. While this may grate on the ears of Latins, it is an ancient and venerable greeting for deacons in the East, where the diaconate as permanent order, while it certainly declined over time, never completely disappeared, as it did in the West. I am in no way arguing for the importation of this form of address into the Western church. I just think it is something that shows what is demonstrated well by James Monroe Barnett in his book The Diaconate: A Full and Equal Order, namely that the diaconate is a full and equal order, arguably older than the presbyterate.