sharing encounters beyond human understanding ... the voice, the presence, and the touch of God ... contemplation, deep prayer, and union
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Getting It Right
At our weekly Bible study group this week, our leader was absent because she had to attend a PTA meeting for her child. We had as a substitute an expert, Jack, who had taught the course before (in fact, his wife wrote the course) but lives at a great distance. Apparently, our leader will be absent next week as well. As we were finishing up the session, Jack looked at me and said, "You're an experienced leader at work; you could lead this group next week because it really is too far for me to come again."
Oh, my! I am still learning. After all, I converted to Catholicism rather recently. This will be the blind leading the blind, I am afraid, but Jack was confident and handed me his notes for next week (those will help). Well, I do know a lot about shared governance, servant leadership, mentoring, coaching, and facilitated teaching, so I guess/assume/hope that I will be able to count on the aggregate knowledge of those present to create a mathemagenic session next week. (I am also counting on Sr. M, who was absent this week, to be present next week and help. She is a faithful presence at our Bible Study meetings and our prayer group meetings, and I have learned much from her.)
After the Bible Study meeting, one of the members of the group who also attends the weekly prayer group meeting, which I lead (long story of how the most unlikely person -- me -- got involved in doing that), started asking me a number of questions about contemplative prayer. She had been reading my book, A Believer-in-Waiting's First Encounters with God, and what she read made her yearn for deeper contemplation. While I have had wonderful experiences with contemplative prayer, there is only one person -- a priest -- within driving distance who teaches the Jesus prayer or any other kind contemplation. So, what I know has mostly from from God. Following some urging from my friend, I agreed that we could use our next movie night -- once a month we watch a movie as part of our prayer group activities -- to watch a video on contemplative prayer. I don't know what I will be able to say myself on the topic. I can do little more than share experience, and that makes me a little concerned/nervous.
So, when I arrived home, I sent up a prayer: "I need a lot of guidance here, Lord. You've put some precious people in my hands."
Immediately came a correction: "In My hands."
Of course, I am at best only the conduit. How easy it is to forget! I am sure now that both sessions will go precisely the way God wants.
I am the mother of 4 birth children (plus 3 others who lived with us) and grandmother of 2, all of them exceptional children. Married for 42 years, I grew up in Maine, live in California, and work in many places in education, linguistics, and program management. In my spare time, I rescue and tame feral cats and have the scars to prove it. A long-time ignorantly blissful atheist converted by a theophanic experience to Catholicism,
I am now a joyful catechist. Oh, I also authored a dozen books, two under my pen name of Mahlou (Blest Atheist and A Believer-in-Waiting's First Encounters with God).