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.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A week after the meeting: Spirituality

It's been a week since I met with the spiritual director.

Things remain up in the air.

Certainly one question raised in our discussion is weighing on me: How much is my desire to be a deacon a call from God, and how much of it is a symptom of my desire to be busy and take care of others? And if I don't have a rich prayer/spiritual life, how effective would I be?

Some positive notes: Per one of the director's suggestions I have begun keeping a journal in which I record each night at least three things from that day for which I am grateful. It's not easy. I forget things from earlier in the day - maybe I need to jot things down as they happen. But I have been doing it.

I did get a bike. I’ve been riding every day - now up to half an hour. My body is still adjusting (after 28 years, the butt is feeling it!), but it's getting better. So far, some wonderful moments riding the Erie Canal trail, saying hi to other riders, watching all the critters along the way.

I've also been reading Brother David Steindl-Rast’s Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer. The book's title explains it all.

As for the canonical issue, no word yet. If it's a no, then any decision on the diaconate becomes moot.

But the more important point in all this is growing spiritually.


Anonymous said...

Just a though about daily spiritual activity. I would suggest that you commit to a daily reading of the Gospel of the day or the Imitation of Christ and then meditating on this passage for 15 minutes. As the fruit of this meditation, you should formulate a resolution to do something concrete and measurable that day as a result of your prayer.

Your ability to discipline yourself to do this small act of piety and to change your life by doing a small act of charity as a result of your prayer is probably a good barometer of your actual intention and or calling to answer a vocation to Holy Orders as the first act of this vocation is to be a man of prayer, the second a man of service.

So, if you can not / will not get up 20 minutes earlier to do this simple act of piety, you have a decent starting point as to your ability to answer this call to holiness to begin with. A man in orders can order must be able to order his habits towards God and his will. And surely, God wants us all to pray, discern his will and act. Deacons, by their very vocation are called to do this on the highest of planes. There is no right or wrong meditation or action. All that is required is to have a concrete and objective act that you either do or not do. Make it simple, objective and measurable; able to be completed in one day. Log the fruit of these meditations and you will have an idea of what God wants you to do.

I would start with clear, objective measures of acts toward holiness (morning meditation on the Gospel or the Imitation) and discerning an active fruit from such an activity. That is, after all, the work of a man in Orders and the work of a man in general.

I wish you well.

Dan Kane

9:00 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Thanks for the advice. Reading the Bible is part of my daily routine - currently in Matthew.

7:23 PM  

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