Breaking up

It’s hit me pretty hard this year, in a way it didn’t really last time round, that for many of the people I train with, this will be the last time they celebrate the mysteries of Holy Week as lay people. I wonder, selfishly, how I’ll feel this time next year, with term finished and Palm Sunday approaching fast.

For many of us, this will be an especially difficult Holy Week, with the Church of England still recovering from many of its self inflicted wounds. So not only am I unsettled for the future of my confreres and me, I’m also worried about the state of the church. Times like this lead me to question my own road – and that always leads me to think of this quote from Thomas Merton:

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

If you’ve read this today, please pray for all who are currently training for the sacred priesthood. Even at college, it’s sometimes easy to get lost.

It’s been…

…an interesting time to be part of the Church of England. The beginning of the year was dominated by the conversations around sexuality, and the last few weeks have involved various opinions about the nomination to the vacant see of Sheffield.

It’s interesting to see how this effects people at theological college. Some people seem like they haven’t the foggiest idea about what’s going on, or that these things don’t concern them. Others dive in with both feet, spouting opinions on social media and writing letters to people. Most talk about it amongst their friends and fellow students.

Sometimes I think it can be hard to see where God is in all this. When did we stop talking to each other and start mudslinging? And how on earth can we be trying to win souls for Christ if we’re showing signs of division so blatantly to the outside world?