View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Call to the diaconate - R.I.P.?

“I am in the fiftieth year of my life: therefore a mature man on the road to old age: perhaps death is near. I have achieved very little in the half a century of life and of following the priestly vocation. I feel humble and ashamed before the Lord, and ask his pardon `for my countless sins,’ but I look to the future with imperturbable and confident serenity.” - Pope John XXIII Journal of a Soul (1931 entry)

This passage resonated with me – except the part about priestly vocation (unless you count the priesthood of all believers).

Fifty. Mature – Ha! (Okay, another area of difference!) Having accomplished little. Humble and ashamed before the Lord. Countless sins.

“Imperturbable and confident serenity” – perhaps, though certainly not this morning.

These reflections come from a good and holy man who in 1931 had devoted his life to his vocation and to prayer. He had fought the good fight for his faith and the Church.

I, on the other hand, have wriggled and pulled and fought all the way, like a fish on a line. God has kept reeling me in, but I’ve done everything I could to hold back and get away.

What leads to these thoughts is a meeting I had yesterday.

When my wife and I had begun to talk seriously about applying after last week’s day of reflection, it suddenly dawned on me that in a foolish time in my life I had done something that could prove a serious impediment to becoming a deacon. I called the head of the diaconate in our diocese to arrange the meeting to discuss the matter.

He agreed that it could prove an impediment. He was going to run things by the canon lawyers at the diocese. If they do not see it will be an issue, fine, I can continue the process.

If they do see a potential problem, however, then there may have to be an investigation. After the investigation, they could determine that it will not be a problem, or they could conclude that it is an insurmountable impediment.

Or they could ultimately decide they have to refer the matter to Rome.

Rome? For me?

Would I want to push it that far? Do I feel a strong enough call? Do I feel that even if I do ultimately receive permission to proceed, I am worthy?

Or do I humbly accept my position in the back pew and play my role as a part of the priesthood of all believers?

And if that’s the case, what’s wrong with that?

Nothing, of course.

But my ego would not be happy.

And, in the end, that might be the real problem here.


Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

Take it all the way. You must find out.

9:21 PM  

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