I am pursuing a degree, or at least certification, as a lay ecclesial minister in the Roman Catholic church. Nobody, including the bureaucratic body of the Church, seems to have a clear idea of exactly where we will fit once our training is complete and the attitude of some in the Church seems to be mixed towards this program.
Nevertheless, we are trying to answer a call and to think of ourselves as ‘ministers’ and that has been especially hard for me. Things are a changin’ now as they say. I have been called upon to teach people who want to become Catholics who come from no particular faith tradition or knowledge base. I was left on my own last night reminding me of my student teaching days when I was first left alone. I don’t think I did very well at all.
Becoming a minister of a sort reminds me of leaving my classroom and becoming an administrator of a sort. I can the big picture more clearly. I can see the struggles of people to do things ‘right’ and the problems they have more clearly. Despite this, I can’t see very clearly how to help. It’s my duty to help. I WANT to help but all of my education falls short in actually aiding people in my day job or night job to the extent I think I should be able to help them. I am left with the answer given in my favorite book A River Runs Through It. It is possible to love completely without complete understanding and that is what I am really, at the most basic level, trying to teach, to them, and to me.