Candy and Jay Krueger attended their third session for the Archdiocese Diaconate Aspirancy year. This session was a day long retreat and included all 103 couples who are a part of the five-year program. This was also the first time there were both English and Spanish classes for all five years.
The session opened with all classes praying the Liturgy of the Hours together. The Liturgy of the Hours was celebrated in English and Spanish, offering all those in attendance to worship our Heavenly Father in voice and song. It was followed by a brief discussion by Deacon Craig (head of the Diaconate program) about looking at what we are called to do, to discern the true calling of God within our lives and place that calling into action.
The remainder of the day was conducted by Sister Joan Herehan, CSJ, and included discussions on discernment and prayer. She also pointed out that God ordinarily acts in ordinary ways.
We all have personal compasses, to the East is the rising sun, the new beginning in our lives that call us to embrace a different direction. To the West is the setting of the sun, letting go of a belief, an attitude or situation that needs to be left behind. To the North a guiding light, those who guide us in nurturing and sustaining way, a dear friend that helps us through a difficult time. To the south a sunny exposure, marking our lively energy, our imagination and spontaneity that are needed to nurture ourselves. We were asked to diagram our own personal compass and write down the directions of our lives and then move into the circle and an image of an unconditional yes in our lives. There was then time to reflect and pray with our personal life compass.
We then enjoyed a community pot luck shared by all the Diaconate Classes, facilitators, Guest Speakers and leaders. With the Spirit of Fellowship the hour and a half passed all too quickly, the bounty of food and the joyful conversations was a true blessing. Our lunch was drawn to a close with the song Open my Ears Lord, which brought us back to a prayerful state.
The afternoon Session was centered on Discernment, how to define, gather, use the imagination, brainstorm possibilities and paying attention. There comes times in our lives when we must face the possibility of change. With discernment we are able to focus on the possibilities within ourselves to face those changes. We focus on three main points. To be honest with ourselves, to trust others and ask for help, to be in constant, persistent prayer, having the faith that God will guide us on the path which will lead us on His path. The session was closed with a prayer by Thomas Merton, the Prayer of Discernment, “You will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it.”
During our lunch break our group discussed how we would like to visit the home parishes of each of our classmates, which would occur over the next five years. The entire group welcomed this with exuberance and joy. With the diversity of our class as well as the entire program, we see God’s guiding hand on our path to richer discernment.
Our next class is October 6th and will include Spiritual Direction, instruction on how to pray the Liturgy of the Hours and go over our homework assignments.