Conversation With A Deacon

I only went for a quiet stroll and ended up on the monastery grounds where I ran into a major retreat taking place. There were cameras there so it was a big event. In addition to this they’d just given a make-over to what used to be the printing press house for the monks. Imagine a little Irish cottage and that’s what it looks like.

I realized I’d left my phone in my car so I walked all the way back for fear someone would break the window and steal it. Not that my phone is much to look at but I was more concerned for the window of my car than anything else.

On my arrival back my wife told me she was talking to a Deacon supposed to be ordained September but was put back to February. He’s not a Deacon yet I suppose you could say he is. He was interested in speaking with me.

He came over and he was much older than myself with much life experience no doubt. He spoke to me about his struggle with the academic part but that me being a blogger it may not be difficult for me. He said what I’d already knew in the sense that the first year will be them examining me and my wife too.

I understand they will be using this time to test the spirits and they’ve a legitimate reason to do so. It’s very important they watch out for rigidity and any kind of personality disorders that may inhibit someone being moved forward into a role that requires interacting with the general public.

The way I look at it is I’ve heard what I assume to be Gods call and I’m answering it. I’ve offered them who I am and this blog. I don’t hide my theological views from anyone and always aim for a balance even though I’m aware there may be serious flaws that need correction.

Then I’ve got to figure out what they’re like. I’m already aware of the atmosphere of two dangerous spirits in the Church of extreme fundamentalism (rigidity) and that of liberalism. There’s a lot going on in seminaries where there is a higher critical approach to scripture and some other hairy things, but I will be ignoring that. There’s no point in fighting it or becoming aggressive about it. People have their expression of theology and I’m ok with it.

When it boils down to teaching my own sons theology during their homeschool years they will be taught both the interpretation modern theologians have of Genesis and the Church doctrines and the extreme views of radicals and then finally I will introduce them to the balanced view that is more acceptable than both extremes. It’s important to me my boys don’t get picked on by either demon.

The fact is seminaries always have some sort of flaw about them and some Saints get affected by inappropriate teachings throughout the centuries. St.John Vianney was given a very Jansenist formation in seminary and only years later was it recognized as a heresy. St.Padre Pio bad temper and his refusal to absolve some people of their sins was also inherited from the same severe theological formation.

Wow. He was a saint. None of us are perfect and seminaries are not perfect. What is being taught there today like with Jansenism will one day be recognized as inappropriate but perhaps not in my life time. This is a curve that God will himself flatten not me or you. I honestly can’t be bothered giving out about it and I’ll simply be keeping my head down knowing that in the end, God wins.

Some however lack the clever approach with some expressing aggression towards the lecturer at what is being taught. Even if what is being taught is inappropriate and a load of nonsense, the aggression is usually a sign of deeper psychological and spiritual problems in a person. Mostly it’s a dangerous combination of the two. Rigidity hides something in a man. It’s a mask he uses to cover his many spiritual imperfections.

I’m always worried about this spirit in myself not to mention the one where I’m so loose I walk off a cliff. All I can do is pray to the Lord and ask Him to guide me on the right path in life. I’ve always tried to aim for the straight and narrow neither looking to my left (no pun intended) or to my right (again no pun intended).

I don’t really get too frustrated over whether or not I’m brought forward for ordination. I trust the Lord and obey the Church. If the time is right, then it is right. If I’m being called, I’m being called. If this is not the path for me then it is not the path for me.

I will just carry on being Stephen. I know that if I am not brought forward towards this undeserved special honor of being raised to the dignity of the deacon, that it will be the last time I will interact with the Church on that basis. I will never again pursue any kind of position in the Church and accept whatever life it is God has called me to. I’m quite surprised I’m even a reader. I always wanted to be that ordinary guy who goes to Mass every Sunday with his family and show people that to be religious you don’t need to be ordained.

But God has called me (I think) so I’m answering it and will see where exactly that leads me. First he called me to be a reader, and now The Lord has wasted no time in inviting me to consider the diaconate. Strange times indeed.

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