Friday, September 07, 2007

New Ministry

Earlier this week I attended a meeting at my parish that was a follow up to the men's retreat I made a couple of weeks ago. I previously shared that although the retreat was well planned and executed, it was a difficult weekend for me. Of course, the difficulty was more about me than about the retreat. I had a sense of what to expect at this follow up meeting. I knew they would be looking for volunteers to lead the next retreat. I was mentally prepared to NOT volunteer for anything. My excuse was going to be the work I am involved with at the monastery every month. Well, the next thing I know I am signing up to be on the next retreat team and it seemed like my body was lifted against my will from the back of the room where I was hiding to the front of the room where the newly seduced volunteers gathered. In my mind and heart I knew I should do it. I knew I should do it because I believe I am good at such things. The truth is that often in life I really just want to be left alone. This is not a noble feeling on my part. It is part of my laziness, my reluctance to lead, and my desire to avoid work that I really don't have to do. An additional truth, however, is that any challenge that makes me uncomfortable, or isn't always appealing, is usually something I need to do or am called to do. In the past I have talked about grace. Grace is God's life within you. Grace calls us to go beyond where we are. It challenges us to go out of our comfort zones. It beckons us to listen to the quiet voice within our hearts and to take a risk. Like many people I do not always want to do this. When I continually resist grace, the voice inside me gets louder. Sometimes it shouts. So, once again I am back in parish ministry in addition to what I do at the monastery. God will not leave me alone. I can only believe that I will receive what I need to meet this new challenge. Someone once told Mother Teresa that God will never ask more than we can handle. Her response was "I wish God didn't trust me so much"!

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