Motivations and Service

Q:  In the past year I’ve have fully realized the Martha in me and my false-self motivations that permeated years of ministry.  By God’s grace the Illuminative way is proceeding but I am challenged by Pope Francis‚Äô call to move out and serve the marginalized.  The stirring and flame burning within to answer his call is strong.  How do I discern if authentic or false-self stirrings are at work?

A:  It is never an “either or” expression between the contemplative and active life; it is a “both and”. Most of us finally get the message after a number of years, including myself. We are who we are for the sake of the world no matter what we are doing or called to do. It is the motivation and the purpose of our doing which makes the difference. Do not give up on what you have spent a lifetime discovering. Do it now with new eyes and ears and realize that your must now decrease in order for the Lord to increase. Now you realize we are the ministers and not the messiah.  So answer the call of Pope Francis for a different reason and in a different way than you would have done in your early days of ministry. With this new intention, I trust the Spirit will guide you.  It‚Äôs about practice, not perfection.

-Fr. Carl