Today’s find: A pilgrim’s progress #TBT

Albert Einstein had it right, I think: Time IS relative. Or at the very least, it seems to be speeding up as I grow older.

That thought occurred to me when I looked at the calendar this morning, and realized today is the 10th anniversary of the death of my dear friend and mentor, Fr. Jim Krings.

Hard to believe it’s been 10 years. But the startling realization prompted me to recall just what a wonderful blessing Jim had been in my life. I even dug up the reflection I wrote about him at the time of his death.

If you knew Jim, perhaps remembering him will bring a smile to your face today…just as it did to mine.

A Pilgrim’s Progress: Remembering Fr. Jim Krings

It’s a curious feeling, saying goodbye to a wonderful man like Fr. Jim
 Krings. On the one hand, we are heartbroken…because we will dearly miss 
his hearty laugh, his extraordinary preaching, his remarkable wisdom, his loving friendship.

On the other hand, we are filled with joy…because our friend Jim has now 
received the greatest gift of all, the thing his own heart most desired — a bear-hug from Jesus, full union with the Lord.

One of my fondest 
memories of Fr. Jim is the petition he always prayed at daily Mass, 
remembering “those who will meet Christ in the mystery of death today.”

His simple prayer was — and is — a profound reminder: We are meant to 
love the life that God has given us here on earth; but we are not meant to 
cling to it. There’s more ahead. Jesus beckons us forward, and He asks us 
to trust in the coming joy which we cannot yet see.

Jim knew that we are fundamentally a pilgrim people: that this life — with
 all its joys, all its sorrows — is not our final destination. He spent his 
own life contemplating this mystery…and sharing what he discovered with 
all those he met. That’s what made him such a great preacher, I believe: He 
walked the talk. He loved life, and yet willingly embraced the mystery of

As I meditate on the passing of this wonderful man, I am reminded of one of 
my favorite passages from St. Augustine:

“Let us sing alleluia here on earth, while we still 
live in anxiety, so that we may sing it one day in heaven…in full

God’s praises are sung both here and there. Here
 they are sung by those destined to die…there, by those destined to live

Here, they are sung in hope… there, in hope’s

Here, they are sung by pilgrims; there, they are sung
 by people living in their own country. 

So let us sing now, not in order to enjoy a life of 
leisure, but in order to lighten our labors. 

We should sing as pilgrims do. We should sing, but 
continue our journey. Sing then, but keep going.”

Surely, then, we can sing of Fr. Jim on this bittersweet day. We can sing 
WITH him, too — for this joyful pilgrim, our dear friend, is now living in 
his own country.
 Farewell, Fr. Jim — and please keep the light on for us!

Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.


Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

Post navigation

6 thoughts on “Today’s find: A pilgrim’s progress #TBT

  1. giffer63

    It is hard to believe that it it has been 10 years. News of his passing was in my Facebook memories this morning. In his memory this morning I’ve already listened to one of my favorite songs that he introduced me to at Mass; We Fall Down by Bob Carlisle.

    “The saints are just the sinners that fall down and get up.”

  2. Mary Jost

    John thank you for this beautiful article and reflection. You have a way with words that are uplifting and inspiring.
    I too remember Fr . Jim and thank God for him in my life.
    God is Good always,
    Mary Jost

    • Appreciate the feedback, Mary. God is good to us, especially in the people He puts into our lives!

      • Joe

        Thank you for your wonderful reflection on Fr. Jim , he gave us so many words of wisdom.I often remember him saying “and keep us from foolish worry” Words of comfort and words to live by.


      • Another great piece of “Kringsian” wisdom!

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: