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McDonnells' Priest Offers Spiritual Lessons During Trial



The Rev. Wayne Ball has been close by the side of former Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, throughout the first week of their federal corruption trial.

The pastor at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Richmond and St. John's Catholic Church in Highland Springs has blogged at regularly since 2010. He's also faithfully posted each morning of the trial.

Ball didn't immediately return a call from Style Weekly, but here are titles and excerpts from his posts. They ran while the McDonnells' lawyers defended allegations that they traded regulatory favors for gifts, money and cars, and painted a picture of a marriage falling apart.

Monday, July 28
How close can we be?

"God reminds us today that not only does he know the most intimidate (sic) recesses of our hearts, but he has given us also access to the most intimate parts of him. We are meant not to be the hat, shirt, belt or sandals. God has called us to the deepest most personal, most intimate relationship possible. It is offered as free gift. Today, say yes. Let us open our ears and listen. Let us open our hearts to receive."

Tuesday, July 29
The better part not the only part

"If we truly believe that prayer is the most important thing we can do each day, then why be anxious and worried? Why be anxious and worried at all. What did anxiety and worry ever accomplish? It only shortens our lives. Mostly it shortens our earthly life, but if we let it interfere with our relationship with God, it can even rob us of eternal life. Anxiety and worry serve no purpose."

Wednesday, July 30
Selling ourselves

"While we own our possessions, we should always see ourselves as caretakers. And even the love of husband and wife should be chaste, directly always to one and only one other, their spouse.

"It requires daily sacrifice, but if we believe the kingdom is truly a treasure with a value beyond measure, then it is a simple choice."

Thursday, July 31
Remaining mailable (sic)

"We must remain mailable (sic), and unlike clay we have a choice. We can become hardened in the kiln of our own hearts. God has given us the freedom to choose to step out of the potters hands. How many people talk about shaping their own life, shaping their own destiny? In the US, we talk about it as if it were a virtue. There is no virtue in removing ourselves from the hands of the potter."

Friday, Aug. 1
Where did he get that?

"Remember the promise of John 14:12: Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these.

"Two of the cardinal sins come to mind, greed and envy. The good news is that for each of the cardinal sins there is a cardinal virtue. The cardinal virtue for greed is caritas, charity or generosity. Interestingly, the cardinal virtue opposed to envy is humanitas. In Latin it can refer simply to humanity, human nature. But it also means kindness, courtesy, or culture."

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