In the Name of Jesus

I just finished reading a book that someone from the St. Donatus parish lent to me. It’s In the Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen and it’s a great reflection on how the temptations of Jesus are present in our lives as Christian ministers.

And the book is very short – 81 small pages with large print. Gotta love that!

In the book’s conclusion, he writes:

My movement from Harvard to L’Arche [a community for mentally handicapped people in Toronto] made me aware in a new way how much my own thinking about Christian leadership had been affected by the desire to be relevant, the desire for popularity, and the desire for power as ingredients of an effective ministry.

The truth, however, is that these are not vocations but temptations. Jesus asks, “Do you love me?” Jesus sends us out to be shepherds, and Jesus promises a life in which we increasingly have to stretch out our hands and be led to places where we would rather not go. He asks us to move from a concern for relevance to a life of prayer, from worries about popularity to communal and mutual ministry, and from a leadership built on power to a leadership in which we critically discern where God is leading us and our people.

Until next time, keep fit and have fun! And have a great Triduum!

(The snow is starting to melt. Yay!)

Music

I’ve had a nice past few days here.* The latest lay formation / pastoral centre weekend was very good but also very busy. Fortunately, I actually slept well at Queen’s House, which has normally been a bit of a struggle. Maybe I’m getting spoiled by the nice double bed here in Macklin…

On Saturday evening, we had a night of Taizé prayer. It comes from an interdenominational community in France, and it basically involves chanting phrases from Scripture. If you’ve ever heard the chant “Jesus, remember me / when you come into your kingdom / Jesus, remember me / when you come into your kingdom,” then you’ve heard a Taizé chant. The “Ubi Caritas” in the Catholic Book of Worship III (I think it’s around #67) is also a Taizé chant. The room we were in had a large, wooden cross surrounded by votive candles to focus our attention. It was amazing how prayerful an experience it was to simply sing the Scriptures in that environment, or to just listen and let the Word of God effectively wash over me / us.

I should get going. Mass tomorrow morning (and I see that it’s being offered for a person I did the funeral prayers for back in October).

Until next time, keep your stick on the ice!

*(If you are reading this, Fr. David, I’ve been working and stuff this week! Honest! And stuff!)

In Macklin

I’m currently in Saskatoon, where I just finished a day and a half at the Catholic Centre. Tonight, I’m off to Queen’s House for a weekend of the Lay Formation program. It’s been quite good thus far, though very busy. I’m amazed at how much information the presenters can cram into the limited time they have – they’ll often put information from, say, 3 months of a theology class and present it in two hours. So people’s heads are justifiably spinning after that…

Anyway. Have to run. Keep fit and have fun!

Added 2005-03-07 @ 14:35:28: As of Sunday evening, I am now back in Macklin.