At the moment I’m supposed to be preparing three reflections for the Diocesan Discernment Conference later in the month. I have to say it is quite the challenge. One is a Life Sketch, how does one put down in a few pages how one’s life has been shaped toward inquiring for Ordination. What do the Examining Chaplains want to know? The exercise has been quite useful and I might even finish it this side of a thesis. In doing this exercise I have learnt not only how the various parts of my life have lead me to be the person who now offers for discernment, but it has also reminded me of just how unworthy I am to be called a servnt of God. That is to say, that my life has been less than ideal. There are a number of things I’m neither pleased about nor proud of. However, it does remind me that God calls people just as they are. I guess that is the message I would like the Examining Chaplains to know; that despite how human I am, for all my frailties and faults, it is God who calls me to serve.

The second reflection is The Nature of God. Well another mammoth task to get down to 1 – 1/2 pages. Who or what is God. In doing this reflection it dawned on me how the more we try to describe the nature of God, the more we are limited by our human ability to communicate the Divine. We have draw on points of reference that we as humans can relate to. However, in so doing, we already limit our ability to describe which is in essence a spiritual encounter with the Divine. It also dawned on me that we spend far too much time feebly communicating the Divine and not enough time experiencing the Divine. It is like what I tell students when they ask me do I believe in God. I can tell them of my experiences of God but I cannot give them my experiences. What they need to do is seek out their own personal relationship with God.

The final reflection is on The Nature of the Priesthood. One I’m finding a lot easier. However, the difficulty for me seems to lie in how is a Priest different from a Religous. For there are a lot of similarities. Notwhithstanding the reality that both stem from the same aim, that is, to live in a more purposeful way our Baptismal vows to live as Discples of Christ. What then is different, perhaps its in the leadership of the Church, the taking on of the repsonsibility to pass on the traditions and mysteries of the faith.

I’m sure when I finally get these done I’ll have something more useful to say about them. In the mean time, I’m enjoying the sun and warmth here in Pormpuraaw. It won’t be long before I’m back in cooler Brisbane, but I’m looking forward to spending some time with Br Ghislain from Taize when he comes to do some school visits.

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