Week of August 21

There were two significant things this week that affected me.  The first was the opening Mass for the coming school year at St. Bernard's.  The diaconate formation process is a discernment.  I've been asked my many people, including the kids, as to why I'm going through this process and why I want to be a deacon.  Nick asked me on Sunday what made me realize this was a call.  It's difficult to explain but I've found that if I'm on the path God wishes me to be on, I have a sense of peace about it and things seem to go right for me.

In preparing for Mass on Tuesday, I felt that sense of peace and that I was in the right place doing the right thing.  So, for now at least, I believe I'm on the right path.  What concerns me is whether or not I'm doing too much.  Last week and this week I have things on my calendar, mostly music related, that result in me having no time to do anything after work.  That may be a problem with finding time to get all my assignments done.  One of my classes will require a bit of work outside the classroom working with other students.  With so many rehearsals for things I've committed to, it might be too much.  I'm trying to discern whether being in a rock band is what I should be doing.  I enjoy the music and my fellow bandmates, but I'm not sure if I'm doing this for fun or to go somewhere.  I'll need to further reflect on that.

The second thing this week was going to confession for the first time in a long time.  I'd actually gone last fall on retreat but I didn't consider that a good confession as I was more concerned with work related stress than any sins that were weighing on my conscience.  This weekend I took as step towards actually unburdening myself of what I consider sin.  I've begun working on my penance.  I don't know if I'm supposed to feel differently that before or not.  I don't feel like a big weight has been taken off my shoulders or anything, but then again I wasn't feeling anything major weighing on my conscience either.  Perhaps confession is like my experience with the Eucharist as I grew in my faith many years ago.  Sometimes you need to continue receiving a sacrament and reflecting on it before it truly has an impact.  We shall see.

One other thing surprised me this week in reading for Pastoral Care.  The chapter was on feminist pastoral care and women's issues.  It showed me first of all that I really need to focus on listening to others and not to jump to my own conclusions or inject my opinions or prejudices.  But what really struck me was whether or not I was truly listening to Ellen when she talks to me or needs me to listen to her.  I can get so wrapped up with what's in my head or what I need to do next that I don't always take the time to focus on her.  I need to watch out for that and make sure I give her the time and attention she deserves.


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