Father Bob says :O)

No kidding: I have the best doggone spiritual director ever! :O)

Fr Bob is a retired priest in my Diocese. We met approximately one year ago at the suggestion of a mutual clergy friend of ours. At this time last year there was a lot of uncertainty in my life & it was thought to be the right time for me to begin a spiritual direction journey with a priest who is not at my parish. In retrospect I can honestly say that God’s bringing Fr Bob into my life at that time is one of the best blessings I’m celebrating this Advent.

Fr Bob & I talk about once per month via phone{ due in part to the issues I have with transportation to & from Pensacola} But our phone visits yield much good ” fruit” & last week’s discussion was no exception.

We talked about how easy it is for those of us in the ministry of the lay and ordained…its all ministry} to put ourselves at the center of our ministry. When we do, according to my wise spiritual director, & someone criticizes us, we take such criticism personally. Fr Bob advised me to remember to always put Our Lord Jesus Christ at the center of everything I do…and when criticism of my ministry comes{ as we all know it will, people being people n’at} to listen to the person criticizing me with an open mind & heart. He says that when we put ourselves at the center we tend to become defensive & metaphorically close our ears to what the Holy Spirit might be potentially saying. Fr Bob reminded me that God uses all persons as potential agents for God’s Will & that by our { very human} way of playing defense, we might block out what we need to hear.

Ouch. But ya know, the more I prayed about Fr Bob’s advice the more I see the wisdom in his words . Our Lord Jesus Christ is the whole reason why we are a Church. This is something that should be remembered ALWAYS, but during the season of Advent in particular. We are CHRISTians & Christ needs to stay at the center of our individual & corporate lives.

O LORD, Bless Father Bob & his ministry of spiritual direction. Thank you for his dedication to helping further the spiritual growth of both lay & ordained leaders in our Diocese Help all of us to keep Your Son at the center of every aspect of our lives. In the name of the father, Son & Holy Spirit, Amen.

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