Sunday, December 13, 2009
A Formation Year Ends
Yesterday, my classmates and I finished our third year of diaconate formation in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. We had only a short time to reflect since we still had a full day of classes, three papers to turn in and a final exam in Moral Theology.
But during that short time, we were amazed by many things. First, how quickly the time has flown by. It seems like yesterday when we met each other as aspirants; concerned if we would fit in or even if they would let us stay. Second, our attitudes had changed quite a bit. It is no longer perceived as a competition on who can make the best grades but a journey; and one we want to travel together. It is no longer about our personal success, but of our collective success. Each and every one of us will do all we can to help our classmates succeed; all the while knowing that it is still a personal journey with God. We learned that it is not a question of whether you could meet some particular criteria that the Church desired in a Deacon. No, it is a discernment process on each of our parts to ask the question: Is God calling me to this ministry? The Church's role is to validate that call.
We have lost a few dear men in the last three years. Each of them are wonderful men but found that serving as a deacon is not what God was calling them to do. It was not an easy decision for these men because it is not black and white. It is something that comes from the heart. The remaining 13 men in the class are still on that same journey of determining whether this is what God wants us to do; and we still have two years to go.
But it is nice to reflect for a moment on the process. For soon enough, we will be back in class, too busy to stop and think about this journey.
And pray for us so that we are able to rest during this break and to continue to have the strength and wisdom to discern what God put us on this earth to accomplish.