Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Wasting time with God

My brother Seminarian gave a beautiful reflection on the need for prayer and formation for the work of evangelisation. I think St Gildas is a wonderful model in this. He repeatedly follows Jesus' example in withdrawing to places where he can be alone in prayer. It is this time in solitude that nourishes Gildas' apostolic ministry.

Often I think diocesan priesthood is seen as primarily an "active" vocation, but this does not do justice to the contemplative character that must underly it. Without this rootedness in prayer, all apostolic activity is useless.

If it is God and the Church's will, I am likely to be a Parish Priest by the age of 30, and thus living on my own until I get very old/sick. As I reflect on this, I've come to see my future presbytery as a hermitage - a privileged place of encounter with the Lord in solitude and silence. A friend of mine has developed the rather fab wasting time with God website based on Simeon, the modern stylite who prays on top of a tower block. I think there is something of Simeon in my vision of priesthood.

The creator of the site has just gone to Israel to spend a few months with the contemplative Community of Bethlehem, the Assumption of the Virgin and St. Bruno (pictured below). Do say a prayer for him, that this may be a time of great blessings.


Fr Tim Finigan said...

On the theme of the priority of the interior life in the active apostolate, I recommend "The Soul of the Apostolate" by Dom Chautard. He was a Cistercian but had a very sound understanding of the manner in which the secular priest should live.

Gildas said...

Thanks for the recommendation Father. Why is it that all the best books about diocesan priestly spirituality are written by religious?

Anonymous said...

Glory to Jesus Christ!
perhaps this bit on The monastic Brothers Of Bethlehem and The Assumption and St Bruno, will interest you..