Wednesday, 24th May, 2000

[This journal entry was written at a gathering of all the pastors of the Victorian District of the LCA at Holy Cross, a Passionist retreat centre in Templestowe - David]

Last night, Father Michael Casey from the Cistercian Abbey at Yarra Glen (Tarrawarra) came out to speak about the Divine Office. Toward the end of his session, I began reflecting that I had once considered the celibate life very seriously. I realised however that when I was considering this, I did not consider the possibility of being anything but Lutheran. In a real sense, it was the difficulty in there being no Lutheran community that I could join that prevented me from taking vows as a monk sometime during the intervening period between my divorce at the beginning of 1995 and my marriage at the beginning of 1997. I then suddenly realised that had my decision to become a Roman Catholic come three years ago—or, to put it another way, had I not already remarried before last night—I would not have had the slightest hesitation in converting to Rome and going off to the Abbey to join the monks. The following conclusion then hit me forcibly, so forcibly that I almost physically reeled from the revelation. I had to write it down immediately, and this is what I wrote:

God has trapped me--I didn’t realise this till now. Did he know that if I were still single, I would have found it easy to leave the LCA and join the Cistercians at Yarra Glen?? Has he led me into my new family so that I would be bound to remain in my current ministry? Must I accept that the door is bolted on the other side and that God has me cornered? And he lets me realise it now when I have no choice or freedom to act???

I have to think about this. The God who has led me into a trap before setting me loose to ask the crucial question...

Other developments: Over the last two days, I have spoken about my decision to my three closest pastor friends. I can’t say that any of them were surprised—one said simply “I didn’t know that you had come so far.” I shared my complete predicament with them. They certainly have not treated me any differently with this knowledge.

Furthermore, I have had many conversations with many other pastors regarding the crisis of authority in the LCA. The matter of the election of a new General President, and the whole matter of accepting the Anglican proposal for shared ministry, will heighten this crisis. I am convinced that I am far from being alone in recognising this crisis. I do think I am alone in answering it the way that I have. However, I do not think many will be puzzled by my action if I ever find the way toward my goal.

1 comment:

ELC said...

Keep on blogging. :-)