Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Am I adequate?

One of the problems with being a priest is that I (and I suspect many others) keep thinking that others are being a priest so much better than I am.  There are said to be many workaholic priests (why can I never find the references when I want them?) - and in any gathering the chances are that they are there - after all, if they weren't workaholic they would be taking time off wouldn't they?

The Vernacular Curate wrote about this in another way and soon after I read his blog the following quote appeared in my in box:
We tend to manage life more than just live it. We are all over-stimulated and drowning in options. We are trained to be managers, to organize life, to make things happen. This is what is built into our culture, and probably into human nature. It is not all bad, but if you transfer that to the spiritual life, it is always heresy. It doesn’t work. It is not gospel. We might be productive and popular, but we will not be spiritually fertile or free.  Richard Rohr
My spiritual director quoted Monica Furlong to me:
I am clear about what I want from the clergy. I want them to be people who dare because they are secure enough in the value of what they are doing, to have time to read, to sit and think, and who face the emptiness and possible depression which often attack people when they do not keep the surface of their mind occupied ... I want them to be people who can sit still without feeling guilty, and from whom I can learn some kind of tranquility in a society which has almost lost the art.  Quoted by Gloucester Diocese
 This resonates with me - but it is so hard to achieve - even more so when colleagues are rushing around "achieving" so much.

And yet one of the things that I have valued about my curacy has been precisely the time to read and to sit and think and to face up to who and what I really am.


  1. Of course you are not inadequate. How many other priests have a great blog like this?

    As a vicar's daughter, I think clergy can be a bit paranoid. I once told my dad that I liked the preaching at a church I was attending, he immediately started telling me about all the people who had complimented him on his preaching!

  2. Thanks. I think you are right about clergy - at least about me!



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