Updated: Aug 8
I felt I had a calling for many years. My biggest conundrum was to figure out where God was sending me. There was a lot of ups and downs, a fair bit of failure, yet I felt compelled to continue and not quite. Quitting would have been too easy.
Over the last 16 years of ministry, I found myself first a Roman Catholic, then an Anglican and now an Anglican Catholic, being active in all Churches.
I now believe I have been sent where I am most needed. I certainly believe that my academic work is needed and I am open to carrying out much of anything that my church will ask of me.
Fortunately for me, I have an understanding wife and family who have supported me in my endeavours. They have been with me as I have followed a not so straight path in ministry.
I’ve looked at these years as a kind of formation. I have sat around in classrooms like this for such a long time. I’ve met some terrific people; Godly people on spiritual journeys which have intersected with mine.
Yes, I have been formed and I’m reminded of what we talked about last week with regard to Priestly formation:
(Source) CCC1589 Before the grandeur of the priestly grace and office, the holy doctors felt an urgent call to conversion in order to conform their whole lives to him whose sacrament had made them ministers.
“Thus St. Gregory of Nazianzus, as a very young priest, exclaimed:
We must begin by purifying ourselves before purifying others; we must be instructed to be able to instruct, become light to illuminate, draw close to God to bring him close to others, be sanctified to sanctify, lead by the hand and counsel prudently. I know whose ministers we are, where we find ourselves and to where we strive. I know God's greatness and man's weakness, but also his potential. [Who then is the priest? He is] the defender of truth, who stands with angels, gives glory with archangels, causes sacrifices to rise to the altar on high, shares Christ's priesthood, refashions creation, restores it in God's image, recreates it for the world on high and, even greater, is divinized and divinizes.82”
And from St. John Vianney in his work “holy cure of Ars”:
"The priest continues the work of redemption on earth. . . . If we really understood the priest on earth, we would die not of fright but of love. . . . The Priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus."83
The key thing for us is to know with confidence that, much like St. Nazianzus and St. John Vianney, our religious calling and purpose in priestly ministry must be genuine and come from the heart.
Let us pray:
Heavenly Father, send the Spirit of your Son to remain with us during the rest of our time together at Acadia Divinity College.
Let Him guide us, and inspire us to think and speak according to the mind of Jesus.
Through our Ministry, let us be purified, instructed, illuminated and sanctified to better serve others in kind.
Fill us with your joy and love, and help us to put your plans into practice. May we continue to transform the world in your name?
Father, we ask this grace through Christ our Lord. Amen!
Tuesday, May 20th, 2008 D.Min. 8526 - The Theological Foundations of Ministry - Instructor: Dr. William H. Brackney - Acadia Divinity College - (Published unedited: August 1st, 2023)
© Dr. Charles Warner 2023