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Dichotomy of the Cloth

June 6, 2013

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(1)Jesus said, “A person cannot mount two horses or bend two bows. (2) And a servant cannot serve two masters, or that servant will honor the one and offend the other.

(5) An old patch is not sewn onto a new garment, for there would be a tear.”

The Gospel of Thomas

Who is servant? Jesus tells us that many are called (invited) but few are chosen. Is servant priest?  I understand the Station of the Priesthood to be a Servitude of lifting the burdens of others. In other words, others don’t work for you; you work for others. And the specifications in what constitutes “others” is not the decision of the priest, or bishop, or any other title. The others are ‘the Way’ for the priest. This IS his[her] calling. Another way to view this is that a priest does not always go where he is wanted, but where he is needed.

But Who in this Service is the priest really working for? And What is the understanding of/within this Way?

Allow me to share a situation. A woman meets with a priest for a consultation. She tells him she is pregnant. She tells him that she is struggling to decide whether to have an abortion, or bear the child (children). My first question in this situation would be: Who is Father?

If the woman sees the priest as Father, then it is clear that the priest must become Father to the child (children). 

If the woman does not view the priest as Father, then it may be possible that she is seeking assistance of another matter. Either way, the woman becomes ‘the Way’ for the priest, and she is his Service, or his to serve. Not only is she his to serve, but her child (children), AND … the man who impregnated her. This is understood as Our Father asking priest to a Service of His calling. How else is God to use His Servants but for His calling? When children engage in acts that result in big decisions, then big help is needed.

But what happens when priests move away from this location, and focus on their own interests? What happens when they disregard the uncomfortable needs of others, give them little attention, or tell them to serve their own conscience? What happens when the priests serve those who are more tidy? More like him? More celibate? More elite? More wealthy? More educated? More attractive? Less troublesome? Less questioning? Less wounded?

I can hear the words oh so clear: I NEVER KNEW YOU.

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 7.21-23

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Man is clever at calling those under his veil. “Come work for me,” he says. “You can make a name for yourself through my enterprise.” And who does he call to his enterprise? He calls those in need. Like a moth to flame, there is that automatic attraction to those who are what I call ” in the process of Becoming.” These are vulnerable, often times in Spiritual Warfare, but undoubtedly, they are already involved in the early stages of serving a purpose, for they are already KnownThey are Priest.

But what attracts these that are Known? They have a certain charisma, an intelligence, a brilliance, a sweetness, a fire, a yearning, a searching heart, a strong presence, and a desire to teach others … But very often, they have also been injured, and carry wounds not yet healed, and this is why they are Known. What are these wounds? Family suicide. Death of child or sibling. Sexual abuse. Religious abuse. Marital loss and abuse. Physical pain and injury. Bullying. Recklessness. Idolatry. Wealth. Poor upbringing. Impoverished childhood … all things that carry weight for and against the Cloth.

It is very important to add here that healing from past wounds must be solidly underway in order for anyone to come into the Station of Serving as Priest. You do not pastor others until you yourself have been pastored … appropriately. Unfortunately, it is the way of those with self-agendas to allow the one in the process of Becoming to believe he has already arrived. “You are already priest,” he says. And he cleverly works it so that his priest overlooks the need for self-evaluation and Transformation, overlooks his need for healing, and passes over the necessary rendering necessary for the title of spiritual leadership, that will take him into that calling designed by God the Father.

But who is responsible for seeing that the one Known, the one in the process of Becoming, is pastored to the point of clearance? Who is in charge of seeing that one is healthy enough to lead others on that Spiritual Way? Well, for starters, if one is going into set vocation through the voice of man’s Religions rather than God’s Elections, to find a home, one is already ignoring his higher calling, and is in dangerous waters. For in this, he runs from one wound to set up space for another, or, he settles into a life of interference. The first is obvious; the second is masking truth on where he should be. There is interference keeping him from hearing the truer voice. But again, who hears that truer voice, and who knows where one should be?

What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. Mark 10.9

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Often it is the case where man sees a good thing. He is excited about this – a new growth – and this he has discovered in one on the way to Becoming, and wishes to add this to his repertoire. He sets up those on the way to Becoming into positions of “importance”. “Here, you lead us in the homily.” “You are devout, would you honor us by assisting in Communion?” These are not inappropriate requests, but to teach a Spiritual lesson on, say, prophets, one must understand the Station of Prophet, or one infects misinformation which leads to misunderstanding and misuse. Some teachings can only be taught by those in the know. You don’t go to a farmer to learn the trade of battle. He may know of the battle with climate change, and water shortage, and disease to crops and livestock, but he may not have any experience in the enemy realm. And, if one begins the promotion of assisting in Communion, is one then being held there, when he could be here? To be sure, one must discern on all matters to better understand the intent, and what might serve the greater Purpose.

What many do not understand is, what works in those being called in God Servitude, is of a nature undefiled. Therefore, it cannot go where it risks debasement. New wine cannot be put into old wineskins. New growth cannot flourish and continue in that delicate spiritual process of renewal while breaking from what is of healing and strengthening. What happens is a breach. There is a disconnect that hinders restoration and progress. Those of the Way, coming into Truth, have One attending to them, and must be attentive to the intent of others who desire this same Spring, but for self-interest or self-agenda. Know this. Be aware of this. Too many get lost because of the interference along the way.

It is my belief that there are some who have been hurt while young, but who survive, and remain faithful to a God they yearn to understand, are of a soul having been protected. God is merciful. If one is inwardly/outwardly maimed by another, whether by parent, persons claiming authority, peers … he is Known, and called to specific tasks, and likely blessed in ways that he has yet to come into. Everything has a purpose if understood.

*Do not ever let anyone lead you into a lesser life because you have been wounded, or currently feel ill-equipped to pastor in the greatest of truths – God Understanding. It may be a long process, but I am also of the belief that you are not truly ready for that Royal Priesthood until you reach middle age (late forties – early fifties), having had experience in marriage to another, and child rearing.

Peace and Love, and may the Glory of he One True Lord show you the Way.

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