Last year, as part of our preparation for entering the Catholic Church, we spent time considering what we, as a group were called to. This continued after Easter. We focused on what it meant to be a Eucharistic community.
With several months of having our own mass on Sunday afternoon, Advent group and our first Christmas as a group we have looked back on what has happened and together prayed and discussed what we had discovered about where God was leading us.
Many of us have done an annual Examen and shared with others what we have learnt. Out of this came awareness that God was developing a sense of vocation for several of the group and that we were at the beginning of something and starting to discover what it was God was bringing about in and through us.
Last night some of us met to pray, meditate and discuss this process. We began by listening to Isaiah’s vision of God in the temple, where he was given his calling, and shared our thoughts on it. We then looked at the notes made in our group sessions in the spring and summer.We had looked initially at the prayer for the Ordinariate that we were all using.We had taken key words from the prayer and used them as a focus for prayer and discussion. Out of the discussion we developed ideas of what we might do and the form that some of our work as a group might take. We looked back at all this again before thinking about these thoughts and questions:
• Think about the interplay between me, as an individual and the group.
• Think about what came out of our discussions in the spring and summer.
• Think about the last few months.
• What has God shown me?
• What has God shown me through mass and group meetings?
• What is God calling me to?
• What is God calling me to fulfil in the group?
• What is God calling us, as a group, to?
What follows is a summary of the discussion that followed:
Looking back we are aware that we are a very diverse group, not only in background and experience but also in church tradition, ranging from the cradle Catholic to those from a non-conformist or non-Christian background. This reflects that we came from a parish setting, that was diverse and not a traditional Anglo-Catholic ‘Shrine’ church.
This journey is one into holiness and it is a journey that can’t be taken alone. We have become involved in each other’s lives. A depth of friendship has come as a result of being vulnerable and accepting each other in times of weakness.
Mass is the focus for our community life. It is the lungs that breath life and the heart that pumps life into all that we do. Our calling is in this context, it is Eucharistic. It effects and defines what we do in between our gatherings.
There is a pattern to our corporate life emerging. Thinking about some of the vocations that have been developing and aspects of community life we are discovering that there seems to a movement of meeting people where they are, in difficulties, in interests and talents and bringing them into a place where they can develop faith, hope and love.
We are in a place where we can see that some visions people have had individually, are starting to be fulfilled. However so much is still hidden. We have taken a step of faith and some of what God wants us to do is ‘around the next corner’ and we cannot see what it is. Although we feel we have been together for a long time, in reality we are still at the start and most of what God is calling us to is still to come.
On Sunday we have the privilege of having Msg Keith Newton visit us. We will have an opportunity to share some of our journey with him and hear what is going on in other areas of the Ordinariate. It will give us another opportunity to look at our process as a group in a different way and therefore glimpse a bit more of what God is doing.
Note: If some of this doesn’t make complete sense, please bear in mind that it comes out of experiences and thoughts that cannot be shared in the public space of the internet. If you are confused or curious, come and talk to us and we will share what we can or explain further!