Friday, September 29, 2006

cape dies

Yesterday's reading said...

The eye is not satisfied with seeing
nor is the ear satisfied with hearing.

which I think is a good way of describing the way most college students can feel.

The book ecclesiastes is named after the the lead character, qoheleth, the Hebrew word for a gathering. This qoheleth fellow believes that the same thing happens day after day, year after year, and that there's no hope. Regardless...you will die and come to an end. You may thing that there is change but it's just hubris...there is no change.

Qoheleth evidences the hopelessness of someone stuck in a situation of apparant powerlessness. You can buck the powerless situation and try to take back power..the solution of the world. Or you can relize that true power comes from God who gives power to those who are powerless. God is the power in our life and we are his people, the flock that he shepherds.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

And another thing...

In the last two days, I've heard two different bishops speak about their rold in vocational promotion. And, even though I know that it's unfair to believe that every bishop is gifted with the same gifts, I want to applaud these bishops for what they do.

Archbishop Harry Flynn of the Twin Cities runs two seminarys, one at the college level and one at the graduate level. I remember meeting personally with Archbishop Flynn during my last year there for a "check-up" meeting. He is an incredibly caring individual with a listening ear. It is obvious that he cares for both his seminarians and his newly ordained priests.

Bishop Robert Carlson was also obviously very supportive of vocations in his diocese. He said that, of all the priests that were ordained in his diocese, all of them lived with him at one time. He, apparently, has seminarians live in his basement during formation in order to get to know them. And, to his credit, of his 33 ordinations in his diocese, not a single man has yet left priesthood. I think it speaks to the openness of this shepherd in knowing his sheep.

Like a shepherd without any sheep...

I have enjoyed my time here...for the most part...at the National Conference for Diocesan Vocation Directors. I am a "New Vocation Director", which means I got a blessing and everyone is very supportive since they know this is my first time. They were sure to put a green sticker on my nametag letting everyone know I'm new.

The tough thing is that I miss my people. This is the third professional workshop of the year for me. I was supposed to be here until later in the evening on Wednesday but, partially because of a situation in the parish and partially because of my yearning to go hom, I'm leaving after the last conference tomorrow.

I have learned a lot about being a shepherd these last four years of priesthood and it's hard to be away from my people. I know I need to remember these times for when my people are annoying, when they are unfairly criticizing me, or when they disappoint me. I know my sheep. My sheep know me. Now let me get back and be their shepherd!